Yet another principal of Houston ISD, Francis Scott Key Middle School’s Jennifer Murchison, was reassigned. A new principal has yet to be appointed.
Prior to this role, Murchison served as a teacher, school improvement specialist, assistant principal, and dean of instruction, among other positions. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University and her master’s in Educational Leadership from Houston Baptist University.
Key Middle, a part of the Kashmere High School feeder pattern, received an “F” in the Accountability Rating system of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in 2019. While ratings were neither given in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic nor in 2021 due to a “declared state of disaster,” the school received a much-improved overall rating of “B” in 2022 from the agency.
It is currently one of the 28 schools under HISD Superintendent Mike Miles’ New Education System.
The reassignment of Murchison garnered criticism from community members for being excluded from the decision-making process, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Is this a part of an ongoing reshuffling in the schools’ leadership?
In July, Miles reassigned the principals of several schools – Erin Trent of Stevens Elementary, Linda Bellard of Garcia Elementary, Dan De Leon of Sharpstown, Everett Hare of Worthing and Tiffany Guillory of Yates.
“My leadership team and I reviewed existing plans for the future of these schools and determined that new leadership was necessary to drive the kind of improvement these high schools need to start preparing their students and graduates well for the workplace and world that waits for them after high school,” Miles had said then.
Similar to these schools, Key Middle School also has a majority of minority enrollment, with 52.3% Black or African American students, 44.1% Hispanic or Latino students, and 2.3% white students.
In June, HISD hired new principals at 11 schools through its re-hiring process at Miles’ NES schools, which is when Murchison was rehired.