Thomas C Murray Speaker Series

March 15, 2018
What are great leaders? In the eyes of Tom Murray, “they are those who do whatever it takes to help their kids succeed.” Great leaders are also “those who do, not just those who talk.” “I’ve met some of the greatest superintendents in the world that are up against some of the largest challenges,” he said. “They’ve got 100% free or reduced lunch in their districts, their budgets have been slashed, yet they’re doing amazing things for kids. Why? Because of their leadership. Because of the culture of innovation that they’re creating.” ACSA recently sat down to speak with Thomas C. Murray, who is passionate about digital learning, advocacy, equity, and improving educational systems across the nation. Murray spent 15 years in public schools as a former teacher and former principal. He is now the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, where he says, “equity is [central] to what we do. Why? Because it can not be a zip code that dictates the quality of education that a child receives. Every child deserves a high quality education. [Education is] what will break the chains of poverty.” Looking back on his upbringing in suburban New York, Murray says, “I recognize my own privilege. As a white male with two parents at home with a middle class income, who would go on vacation occasionally, didn’t worry about the clothes I was wearing - the privilege I had growing up I don’t think I really realized… Not every kid has [access to] every opportunity that I had, and that is personally part of the reason I have the drive that I do, because I recognize… millions of kids do not have that [access].”
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