CAPE ELIZABETH — The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Kenneth Murphy of Yarmouth as interim superintendent of schools.

Murphy retired as Yarmouth’s superintendent in June 2009 after serving 25 years in the school district, 18 as school chief. He will begin his job as interim superintendent on Jan. 1, 2011, and will serve through June.

Superintendent Alan Hawkins announced his retirement in August and will retire effective Dec. 31. He will remain a consultant through April 15, 2011, to assist in the transition to a new superintendent and to continue to work on curriculum, instruction and assessment.

“The Cape Elizabeth district is similar to Yarmouth in many ways and I know those systems pretty well,” Murphy said Wednesday morning. “I have always admired the (Cape) school system and am looking forward to working with Alan.”

Murphy said the position appealed to him after taking a year and a half off to travel, spend time with his family and teach part time at the University of Southern Maine.

“I have admired the work Alan has done in the school system and knowing him will make the transition easier,” he said. Hawkins and Murphy are both former school principals in South Portland.

Murphy said he will also be able to help the School Board find a permanent superintendent because he was involved in the search for his replacement in Yarmouth.

“I think this is a positive development for Cape and I am relieved we have an interim in place,” School Board Chairwoman Rebecca Millett said. “We are very fortunate to have someone with Ken’s dedication, experience and skill set to steer the ship for our district during this period of transition.”

A gathering to officially welcome Murphy to the district is scheduled for January. It will be an opportunity to introduce him to the district and the community.     

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]

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