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There’s a new face at Pumpkin Center Intermediate School. Murphy Post, who started his educational career as a social studies teacher in Catawba County, is the new principal at PCI. 

Post graduated from Appalachian State University in the N.C. Teaching Fellows Program with a bachelor of science degree in history, secondary education in 2007.  He received his master’s of school administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2020.

Post most recently served as assistant principal at Lyle Creek Elementary in Catawba County since 2018.  Prior to this role, he taught social studies at St. Stephens High School from 2007-2018, where he also served as varsity head basketball coach from 2011-2018.

“I had a lot of good social studies and drama teachers in high school so those are the two I looked at,” he said. “I loved App State. Got a job at Saint Stephens High School right out of college and taught social studies for 11 years.”

Saint Stephens is one of the largest schools in Catawba County. 

“I talked to DeAnna Taylor, the first principal I ever worked under, about administration probably the second year I was teaching, about how I thought I wanted to do it,” he said. “She said that when the time was right, I’d feel the pull to want to do that.”

At year 11, Post felt the pull and enrolled in graduate school.

“It was the way I viewed things,” he said. “Seeing things from the big picture – the whole school. Seeing things from a district wide view.”

That summer, Post said he was fortunate enough to get his first administrative job at Lyle Creek Elementary School, a Pre-K to sixth grade school.

“I worked under several different principals and had a great experience,” he said. “I wanted elementary school. I feel like I relate to that age group well – they’re a lot of fun.”

Post felt another pull. This time to be a principal.

“I was very fortunate that when I felt like it was time to look for an AP job, a great position opened up and they felt like I was the right person,” he said. “The same thing here, Pumpkin Center is an awesome school with a great reputation. The stars aligned. It felt like a really good fit, so it was an easy decision when they offered me the job.”

In Post’s first year, he plans to focus on relationships and getting to know the teachers, staff, students, and community at PCI. 

“It’s no fun to sit behind my desk all day,” he said. “I want to be out and about and in the classrooms with the teachers and the kids. I want to help build on the already strong academic tradition that’s already in place. I don’t plan to come in and change a whole of things. I don’t have any grounds to do that. Building relationships is the foundation for anything that I may want to do here.”

Former Pumpkin Center Intermediate principal, Marie Ashford, is the new principal at Catawba Springs Elementary replacing Kristi Smithwho retired this year.

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