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The Search is Over; Dr. Corey Murphy To Become Aiken County Public School District Superintendent


Aiken County, S.C. – The District’s Chief Officer of Operations and Student Services Dr. Corey Murphy will take on an even larger role beginning in the 2024-25 school year as Superintendent of Aiken County Public Schools.

“I consider this to be the honor of my life,” the veteran educator and Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel commented.

Murphy has served in public education for 26 years; the last four in Aiken County where he has worked closely with classified staff, who he calls some of Aiken County’s greatest heroes.

“Those that drive our buses, clean the hallways, fix the computers, repair the air conditioning, administer medications, build the schools, maintain the playgrounds…” he shared. “All employees have value and should be treated and compensated as such.”

In addition to operations experience, Murphy is no stranger to the classroom. He previously taught Chemistry at Eau Clare High School in Columbia (1997-1999) and, later, Biology for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice from 1999-2003.

He experienced significant success as a school-level leader. As Principal of Great Falls Middle/High School in South Carolina’s Midlands (2007-2012), he led the school to its lowest dropout rate in history and highest graduation level, as well as a Palmetto Gold Award for Closing the Achievement Gap. Then, as Principal of Beaufort High (2012-2017), he overhauled the academic program, which led to students earning the highest number of Career and Technical Education (CTE) completers in district history, as well as several school records, including highest graduation level, lowest dropout rate, highest SAT composite score, and highest Advanced Placement (AP) course participation. In addition, to being awarded the Palmetto Gold for General Performance each year, the school also improved its federal accountability rating (from 74.5 to 87.1) and was awarded the only Blue Star for Financial Literacy award in the state.

In 2017, Murphy moved from school to district administration, and temporarily, his home from South Carolina to Virginia, where he served as Chief of Staff for Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. In Williamsburg, he led an extensive strategic planning process and an equity initiative, while ensuring efficient, effective school system operations and supervising human resources, student services, special education, gifted services, health services, social work, psychological services, athletics, and communications. Among many duties, he also led principal mentoring, school board policy revision, as well as a calendar committee.

After several years in Virginia, a position back home in South Carolina caught his attention. 

“My family and I took one look at this beautiful community and immediately knew we were home,” Murphy shared of his family’s first visit to Aiken County in 2020. “We love living here and have no plans of leaving.”

As Chief Officer of Operations and Student Services, Murphy is responsible for daily operations, including facilities construction management, instructional technology, safety and emergency management, transportation, and school discipline. In addition, he is responsible for student services activities, including nursing services, school counselors, attendance, homebound, and support to military families. Under his leadership, $240 million in new school construction and campus improvements have been completed, teachers have received panic devices for their classrooms as well as enhanced audio capabilities with lesson capture for remote learning, and the district was successful in attaining a grant for enhanced safety and security.

Murphy spent most of his childhood in Duncan, South Carolina, which he is quick to point out that his time there was “pre-BMW Duncan with only a Li’l Cricket and Hardees.” He became a first-generation college graduate by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina in Columbia in 1997. He went on to earn numerous advanced degrees, all from USC Columbia, including a Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision (2003), Educational Specialist in Administration (2005), as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration (2017).

He holds Superintendent Certification in both South Carolina and Virginia, as well as Pre-K-12 Administration and Supervision Certification (Virginia), and Secondary Principal and Supervisor Certification (South Carolina). He is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. He serves on the Board of the United Way of Aiken County, as well as the Board for Rural Health Services. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the American Association of School Administrators, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, and the National Association of Secondary Principals. He is a devoted husband to his wife Sherell, and father to their daughter Deja.

Murphy’s leadership experiences also include his service in the US Army Reserves, where he currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel. During his career in the Reserves spanning over 23 years, he has served as a military police officer who guarded the President’s helicopter, a Captain who led soldiers under fire overseas, a Systems Integration Officer, a Commanding Officer, Battalion Human Resources Officer, Battalion Executive Officer, and Brigade Deputy Commander.

Aiken County’s next superintendent says he truly believes Aiken County is a good school district poised for greatness. “I will build on the stalwart leadership of King Laurence to push the boundaries of public education,” he shared.  “I will be ready from day one to take charge and continue to work to maximize every child’s potential in safe and functional educational spaces.”

Dr. Corey Murphy will begin his duties as Superintendent on July 1, 2024.


Click on the words, "Superintendent Search" for more information about the school board's path to naming our district's next superintendent.