Flint, MI—Keiona Murphy started working for Flint Community Schools when she was just 15 years old. After class at Central High School, she’d head over to the administration building, stop by the bathroom to change into business attire, and begin her job as an office assistant. 

Now, she’ll be at the helm of Flint schools as the assistant superintendent, working alongside Superintendent Kevelin Jones. 

“I love it here. I love this community. This is a community that raised and supported me. I love the opportunity to be able to serve scholars and families,” Murphy said. 

Murphy was appointed interim assistant superintendent in September 2021 after former Superintendent Anita Steward went on Family and Medical Leave. Steward formally resigned in November 2021. Shortly after, the board of education elected Jones, who was serving as assistant superintendent at the time, to the position. 

During her 15-year career with the district, Murphy has had many roles. Prior to being assistant superintendent, she was the director of state, federal and local programs.

“The mentorship that I’ve received during my time working here has been unapparelled. … From secretaries to custodians to bus drivers to principals and administrators have really invested in me and my development and education,” Murphy said. 

Murphy earned an associate’s degree from Mott Community College and a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and communication from Rochester College. She also received her master’s in public administration, educational leadership and her State of Michigan School Administrator certificate from University of Michigan-Flint in 2021.

With an incoming $99 million in COVID relief funds, the district is at pivotal point in its history. Murphy said she’s excited to be part of that. 

“My role is to walk in lockstep with the superintendent and the board to help the plan of the district unfold,” she said, adding there’s “a once in a lifetime opportunity that we have with leveraging the federal funds as well as the goodwill of our community that exists.”

In her new role, Murphy said she hopes to focus on increasing enrollment and retaining high levels of talented staff. 

While her assistant superintendent duties take up the bulk of her time, Murphy is active in her church and also volunteers to work with youth. 

“I definitely enjoy serving the community at other capacities, because it gives me an opportunity to connect with our families,” Murphy said. “Having opportunities to serve the community is always in my heart and always a part of the work I do.” 

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...