Michael G. Murphy


Michael is a retired educator with 40 years of experience, including 24 years as a Head of School, most recently 14 years at Seattle Country Day School (2004-2018).  His various career roles have included teaching public school in Wisconsin; teaching overseas; nine years at University Liggett School (MI) as a teacher and division head; followed by 10 years leading The Bright School (TN).

Michael has served on many accreditation teams visiting many schools throughout the U.S.  He was a board member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) for nine years, including five as Treasurer and two as President.  His specific areas of interest include governance, finance, ethics, stewardship, school culture, and social and emotional learning.  Having taught in three distinct regions of the country, he is keenly attuned to how school culture and mission can impact school leadership.  Michael credits his 10 years as a summer staff member at Camp Voyageur (Ely, MN) and the Erdmann Family (camp owners) for his early interest in education and many educational philosophy principles.

Michael received his BA in history from Wabash College, BS in education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and MALS from the University of Detroit.  He was a Klingenstein Visiting Fellow at Columbia University Teachers College.  He lives in Seattle with his wife, Deborah.  They have three adult children, all independent school graduates, and two grandchildren.  He enjoys tennis, hiking, canoeing, and travel.