School superintendent declines a pay raise


The Mirror

Tom Murphy isn’t getting a pay increase this year –– and that’s the way he wants it.

Murphy, superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools, was recently given an unsurprising vote of confidence from the School Board. Murphy, like other school district employees, has an annual review with his supervisors –– the board, in this case.

The superintendent earns a little more than $147,000 a year. He declined a pay raise during his latest review, as announced last week.

He received a raise last year.

Board member Ed Barney said Murphy continues to be a “high-quality” leader.

“He listens to the board and to his staff to enact programs that meet the needs of the students, and to continue to build on student performance,” Barney said.

District educators and staff are known to praise Murphy both publicly and privately.

He writes a weekly letter to the district’s employees and e-mails it each Monday. Typically, the topics are education and being a positive force for students. Sometimes he writes about his grandson, who has started school, or reflects on the early years of his education career and how he and the profession have changed. He ends the letters with a poem from various stanza masters.

Murphy became Federal Way’s superintendent in January 2000 after serving as the interim for more than six months. He started with the district in 1988 as assistant superintendent.

He was a principal in Redmond for 10 years before coming to Federal Way and also taught English. He has worked more than 30 years in education.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565,

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