Edward R. Murray was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and is the son of Kenneth A. Murray, Sr. (deceased) and Lorenzen (Jean) Russ, a resident of Lexington, SC. He has a diversified primary and secondary educational background which includes schools in New England, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. He is a graduate of Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina. Edward’s post-secondary education is just as diversified. He attended The Citadel (1975 –1976), U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School (1977 - 1979), McLennan Community College (1982 - 1983) and California State University (1995 - 1999) earning his B.A in History. Ed further extended his education receiving his Masters in Education (Cross-cultural Teaching emphasis) from National University (2000 - 2002). Mr. Murray served his country on board the U.S.S. Virginia (CGN – 38) and is an honorably discharged and decorated U.S. Navy veteran. Edward’s son, Richard Kenneth Murray, is following Murray family tradition and is currently serving his country in the U.S. Air Force.
Edward Murray has over 20 years of experience in the education community. He has held post-secondary positions as a Financial Aid Officer, Corporate Financial Aid Administrator, Campus Director and Executive Administrator. He was also honored to serve as Proprietary Segmental Representative to the California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA). Mr. Murray has been a consultant to specialized post-secondary and trade schools and was a Federal Financial Aid program auditor with a distinguished Southern California CPA firm (Almich & Associates). Edward has held secondary education positions as a teacher in physics, math, physical science, earth science, and biology. In addition to these disciplines, Mr. Murray also has a South Carolina Teaching Credential in U.S. history and world history.
As a secondary educator, mentor, and coach, Edward instituted the Academic Decathlon program at Galt High School in California and in the 2004 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon Competition, Galt High School won the “Most Improved School Award,” rising ten (10) places from the previous year. Ed is also a strong supporter of school athletics and has held the positions of assistant and head coach for football and baseball.
Growing up in Saluda County, Molly learned the importance of family, faith, and hard work. She and her brother were expected to help feed the calves, clean the barns, and perform other chores on the family farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the South Carolina Upstate.
Molly began playing the piano and organ at her small country church when she was 12 years old. She and her family still attend the same church today, and she continues to serve as the Music Director and Organist.
As a junior at Hollywood High School, Molly was selected to participate in Palmetto Girls State, a summer program that teaches rising seniors in high school about civic responsibility and leadership through participation in a mock government. The Girls State experience made a profound impact on Molly. She has volunteered with the program for over 35 years now, passing on the lessons she learned about good citizenship and the importance of participating in government.
Molly majored in Music Education at Lander College (now University) and was elected Student Body President.img063 She earned a Masters of Education Supervision from George Washington University and an Education Specialist Degree from the University of South Carolina.
On a blind date, Molly met the love of her life, Bill Spearman of Newberry County – then a Clemson engineering student. They were married in 1976 and are the parents of three children: Mitchell, an attorney; Franklin (deceased); and Katie, an engineer and wife to Lee.
A music teacher for over 18 years, Molly was known for giving every child a chance on stage in her annual music productions. She was named “Teacher of the Year” at Chapin Elementary. She also taught in Gilbert and Saluda, where she served as assistant principal.
img068In 1993 Molly was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. She served four terms and was regarded as a champion for children’s issues. Both the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the American Legion designated Molly as “Legislator of the Year.” Fighting inefficiency and red tape in government programs, Molly authored the bill that ended the $3.00 car inspection program — a nuisance to every vehicle owner that showed no improvement in highway safety.
Molly was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Education for Governmental Relations at the South Carolina Department of Education in 1998. She worked closely with legislators, educators, and business leaders on policies to improve education in South Carolina.
For the past nine years,Molly has led the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, a professional organization of over 3600 principals, superintendents, and school leaders in the state.
As a professional educator, I’ve made it my life’s mission to enrich, empower and enhance the lives of young people. From my beginnings as a high school teacher to my most recent work as a college dean, I am passionate about the state of education in South Carolina and I will do everything in my power to change the direction of the last several decades.
I’ve experienced our state’s educational system from the inside out and—more than anyone—I recognize the challenges we face. That’s why I promise to work with other elected officials, educators, parents and students—in a true spirit of cooperation—to create the change we all seek.
I invite you join “Team Tom” so that, together, we can all march forward to rehabilitate South Carolina’s educational system and ensure a quality education for every child.