Murphy School principal Sheppeck to depart for new position in South End

Murphy School Principal Courtney Sheppeck has taken a new school leader position at the South End’s Blackstone Elementary School after 10 years leading the Dorchester K-8. An interim principal will be selected soon, and a formal process for a permanent leader will start in January 2025. Seth Daniel photo

After more than 20 years at Dorchester’s Richard J. Murphy K-8 School – 10 of those years as the school leader – Courtney Sheppeck announced this week she will be leaving to take a new position as principal of the Blackstone Elementary School in the South End.

Superintendent Mary Skipper will select an interim principal who will start on July 1 and run the school’s day-to-day functions throughout next year. A selection process for a permanent leader is likely to start in January 2025 with a selection made by July 1, 2025.

The move is bittersweet for Sheppeck, who said the Murphy – one of the largest and most diverse in the neighborhood - is where she learned to teach. She spent 13 years in the classroom at the Murphy teaching sixth and seventh graders, and the last 10 years as the school’s leader.

“Basically, I’ve grown up professionally at the Murphy School,” she said. “I started here as a teacher when we added the sixth grade and also as we grew to 7th and 8th grade. I was a founding member of the expansion in 2002 and 10 years ago was asked to be interim principal.

“For me professionally, I want to work in a transformation school and see if I can transfer the solid school attributes we’ve created here to the Blackstone,” she continued. “It’s definitely a bittersweet decision, but at the Murphy families can be guaranteed they’ll get strong instruction across all classrooms. We have very good bones here.”

Sheppeck is a product of Boston Public Schools (BPS) and has spent her career in BPS. Her children also attended BPS schools.

“I’m very invested in the City of Boston, and I think I can bring something new to the Blackstone. I’m a person that when I stay somewhere, I stay a long time,” she said.

Sheppeck became interim principal at the start of the 2014-15 academic year after having been a sixth grade teacher and literacy coach in the school.

Rather suddenly, she replaced the previous principal Karen Cahill, who was put on paid leave over the summer of 2014 after eight years as principal. She is no longer on paid leave.

A formal process was initiated to find a permanent principal and Sheppeck applied and went through that process. After being vetted and interviewed, she was chosen as the permanent principal.

A similar process will unfold in January 2025 for Sheppeck’s replacement at the Murphy. She will officially leave the Murphy on June 30.


After an internal process during April, Boston Public Schools announced that Leslie Gant will be the new regional superintendent for Region 2, which covers a good much of Dorchester, South Boston, the South End, and downtown. Current Region 2 Supt. Mary Driscoll announced earlier this year that she will be retiring after many years in the profession.

She will continue through September to help with the transition. Gant has been the principal of the Joseph Tynan School in South Boston since 2012 and was a classroom teacher before that. She attended Boston Latin Academy (BLA) as a high school student and graduated from Boston University before starting her teaching career.


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