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Monday, May 2, 2016

Retirement bittersweet for NP's Pride

Monday, June 15, 2009

For several years, Murray Pride has been reading to students at Roachdale and Bainbridge Elementary Schools. He is retiring this month after 15 years of service to the North Putnam Community School District
When North Putnam Community School Superintendent Murray Pride retires at the end of June, he will leave behind a legacy of much more than 15 years of service.

He and his wife Sara have established a scholarship fund in their names through the Putnam County Foundation.

The scholarship will be awarded each year to a graduating senior at North Putnam High School.

"It will serve as our way of giving back to the students of this community," Pride told North Putnam board members in his resignation letter.

Pride views his time at North Putnam as a positive experience.

"I think we've improved. We've tried to do the right things and put our best foot forward. I tried to create a sense of family, involvement and improvement," he said.

The most trying thing he has had to deal with was maintaining the programs in the school corporation and coping with the financial uncertainties over the last few years.

"I would hope that this school corporation is better off today than it was 15 years ago. If it is, then I have done my job," Pride said.

During his term, Pride has seen the expansion of curriculum to include art and music, advanced placement classes and dual credit classes. More importantly, he created a strong stable administration that developed a plan for the school corporation and worked it.

"A man once told me to surround yourself with good people and step back and let them do their job," Pride said.

He hasn't left it at that; he expects to see some positive changes in student test scores soon.

"Going back to a traditional schedule at the Middle School will make a difference. I think we will see the student schedules help over time at the high schools too," he said. "I expect to see improvements not only in reading and writing, but across the curriculum. We'll see the benefits of it soon.

"Anything we've done here has been a team effort between patrons, parents, students, teachers, board members and administration," Pride continued. "They have all made everything we've accomplished possible."

Pride has many favorite memories. Chief among them is his constant interaction with kids at sports events, plays and concerts. He has spent nearly every Friday morning for six years reading to students at Bainbridge and Roachdale Elementary schools.

"It's amazing how a little exercise like that can lift your spirits. I hope it's been a good influence on the students as well. It's been fun," reminisced Pride.

"The first year I was here, North Putnam students were taking part in an academic event in Indianapolis. I went to it. One of the students came up to me and said, 'What are you doing here?' I guess they have gotten used to seeing me now," he said.

Retirement for Pride doesn't sound dull or even restful. He plans to do some consulting workshops and leadership training through Administrative Assistance. This way, he explained, he can stay in the business but choose the assignments that interest him.

"I won't have to get up at 4 a.m. every day to check the roads anymore," he laughed. "I won't have to be sure where 1,800 kids, 200 employees and 32 drivers are everyday."

Pride will get to sleep in some now, and, for the first time in 61 years, won't have to get up to go to school. But he will miss the people.

It took much thought, deliberation and prayer for Pride to come to the decision to retire on June 30. He told board members how proud he and Sara are of the school system and "the people who work hard every day to provide a positive experience or our students."

The Prides also plan to spend time visiting their son and daughter and their grandchildren in Kentucky. The couple will continue to live in the North Putnam area and remain involved in it.

He said he will miss his fellow superintendents.

"There aren't very many of us, so we are a pretty tight group," he said. "They do invite retirees to their yearly conference so I can go and not worry about the weather. That's one of the perks of retirement.

"There's still fuel in the tank and I can still make a contribution to schools in Indiana," he continued. "Just without the daily grind of 10-14 hour days."

As it is for most people, retirement for Pride is somewhat bittersweet.

"Even though it's time and I know it's time, it is hard to walk away from something you have done for so long," he said. "The school corporation is in good hands. I will miss being around students and all their activities. They kept me young. I still see myself as a 16- or 17-year-old even though I'm 67."

There will be an open house in honor of Pride on June 27 from 2-4 p.m. in the Commons area of North Putnam Middle School. A special presentation will take place at 1:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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I think Mr. Pride has done a wonderful job!

Anyone know who will be the new super?

-- Posted by AnnieO on Mon, Jun 15, 2009, at 12:02 AM

Way to go Murray. You have done a tremendous job for North Putnam. It IS a better place now than it was when you arrived. Good luck to your successor and best of luck to you and Sara.

-- Posted by cvilleguy on Mon, Jun 15, 2009, at 3:22 PM

A standing ovation from this parent!

-- Posted by whatsup on Tue, Jun 16, 2009, at 5:04 PM

Mr. & Mrs. Pride are both class act people. They will be greatly missed. Is is very sad to see the great ones go. Their names say it all. There is a lot of "Pride" in what they do! Thank you both, you have always been a team.

Good luck and God Bless!

-- Posted by interested party on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 2:34 PM

Mr. Pride has been the superintendent for the whole time my children have been in school and I can honestly say that I am glad he has been our leader at North Putnam. He is well-respected and has done a wonderful job for our school system. We wish you a very blessed retirement!

In response to AnnieO's question, the new superintendent is Dr. Mary Lovejoy. Here is the link to the story:


We hope for continued success for the North Putnam schools under her leadership!

-- Posted by John3:16 on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 3:19 PM

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