Leading by example

Assistant Principal Andrew Ashcraft and assistant athletic director Brian Murphy have been offered new job positions for the upcoming school year


Contributed by Andrew Ashcraft

Assistant Principal Andrew Ashcraft works in his office at SHS. He will be taking over the job of principal at SMS for the upcoming school year.

With the new school year comes new staff changes within the township. Assistant Principal Andrew Ashcraft is becoming the new principal at Southport Middle School, and assistant athletic director Brian Murphy is becoming the new athletic director at SHS. Both are excited about their new challenges for the upcoming school year.

Ashcraft received the call about his job promotion at home while leading a staff meeting and told the interviewer that he would have to call them back. He says when he received the news about the new position, he was taken aback but full of excitement for his new position.

“I really enjoy getting to serve Perry Township’s students and getting to watch them grow up,” Ashcraft said. “It’s priceless. There’s no price someone could put on that.”

Ashcraft says he is a huge middle schooler at heart. He says all of his favorite mentors that impacted his life came from his middle school years, and he has always wanted to be a mentor and leader for kids.

“I really enjoy getting to know people and then trying to lead them…,” Ashcraft said. “I think you have to have that if you have any interest or desire in being a principal. That should be something close to your heart, … seeing people grow.”

According to Ashcraft, his first year of being a principal will mainly be observing what other principals have done in the past and deciding what can be changed for the better, what works and what needs to be eliminated altogether. His second and third years at SMS will be full of implementing the new changes.

“You can’t go around changing or knocking down things without first realizing that was somebody’s good idea,” Ashcraft said. “So I think part of it is just coming in there and observing and seeing where we’re at and uniting a group of adults who … want to work towards a singular vision for the school.”

Contributed by Brian Murphy
Assistant athletic director Brian Murphy works from home. He will take over the position of athletic director in the upcoming school year.

Murphy was told that there was a chance for him to be getting the job as athletic director once Pete Hurbert sent his retirement letter. Murphy needed to validate himself to each of the ranks, all the way up to the school board, that he had what it takes to be an athletic director. In the end, he did prove to be the right man for the job and was very excited to receive the news one Monday evening. 

Murphy doesn’t believe the SHS Athletics department needs a lot of fixing but does want to bring “fresh excitement” to coaches, teams and fans.

“I think the important things for an athletic director is that they understand what both coaches and athletes are going through and know how to translate that into helping coaches make it a good experience for athletes,” Murphy said. “Also, you need to know what it’s like to be a fan because you also need to make it a good experience for the fans.”

Murphy is a huge fan of sports and hopes that with his love for sports, he can make the athletic program better than ever at SHS, not just for the coaches but for students and the fans as well. Nothing is set in stone for the upcoming season because of COVID-19, but he is excited to get started.

“We have a lot of exciting things that’ll come up that were exciting last year and that’ll be exciting next year,” Murphy said. “We’ll have some good things coming next year.”