A former North Platte student with a strong background in athletics is lined up to take over at Madison Middle School. Superintendent Marty Bassett will recommend the hiring of Danny McMurtry at Madison to replace Tom Coviello, who is resigning.
Bassett will also recommend a Brady native as the new assistant principal at the high school when the school board meets May 14.
Another administrator will be transferred, associate superintendent Tami Eshleman said.
If the board approves, the top North Platte public school administrators should be set for next year.
Peggy Bourge will be recommended to be the assistant principal at North Platte High School. Bourge would replace Vikki Carlson at the high school so Carlson can return to Adams Middle School as assistant principal.
Carlson was a teacher a Adams before she became dean of students at the high school in 2010 and later an assistant principal.
Carlson will replace Mike Brownawell at Adams. Brownawell has already been hired as the high school principal, replacing Todd Rhodes, who is resigning to become the superintendent at Maxwell.
Danny McMurtry is a 1998 graduate of North Platte High School. He attended Howard College in Texas, where he earned an associates degree. Then he transferred to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to play baseball and earned a bachelor of science degree.
He is currently studying for his masters in educational leadership at Arkansas State University and is expected to earn his masters in 2014, Eshleman said.
According to Eshleman, McMurtry coached a couple of years in Division I college baseball before accepting a teaching position at Vermilion Catholic High School in Louisiana. She said he has been both an assistant principal and a teacher at Vermilion, a school of about 165 students. He is currently the dean of students and teaches physical education and health, according to the Vermilion school website.
Eshleman said McMurtry has strong leadership qualities, communication skills and a charismatic personality.
McMurtry told the Bulletin that he is eager to return to North Platte after 15 years in other places.
"I've always had a lot of respect for North Platte," he said. "I've held the education I received there in high regard and I'm eager to make an impact."
McMurtry said he has seen and experienced a lot of educational systems since he graduated from high school. He said it's been great to be in athletics, but he is putting that aside for his strongest passion -- helping kids get a good education.
Eshleman is excited that McMurtry is returning to North Platte. She was once his teacher.
“Danny was in the first class I taught at North Platte High School," she said. "He has an enthusiastic student focus that will complement the caring staff of Madison.”
McMurtry's parents live in North Platte. His father is a long-term employee at United Parcel Service and his mother is an elementary school secretary, Dan said.
Peggy Bourge is a 1988 graduate of Brady High School.
She received a bachelor of arts in international studies and political science at Doane College, and a teaching certificate from Texas A & M University in Corpus Christi.
Bourge earned two masters degrees from Texas A & M, one in curriculum and instruction and the other in educational administration. She has 14 years of experience as a social studies teacher and assistant principal.
Eshleman said Bourge has leadership experience in curriculum, grant writing, parent involvement and school improvement. She is currently a part-time teacher and part-time assistant principal at Martin Middle School in Corpus Christi.
Eshleman said Bourge said her “Nebraska Work Ethic” has allowed her to be successful in her career.
Brownawell said he is excited to have Bourge on the high school administrative team.
"She will bring fresh ideas and experiences to the high school program,” Brownawell said.
The hirings of McMurtry and Bourge as well as the transfer of Carlson would complete the administrative team in the school district for the 2013-14 school year, filling the vacuum left by the resignations of three principals.
Eshleman said the interview team for the Madison Middle School Principal position included district administrators, building administrator, building staff and teachers.
Certified positions are posted on the school website, as well as on the Teacher in Nebraska website and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators website. Candidates were screened by administration and contacted for interviews after reference checks were completed, Eshleman said.