Michael Murphy was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Doug Ziegler Advocate for Education Award for his long-standing commitment to education in the West Bend community.
Started in 2014, the Doug Ziegler Advocate for Education Award recognizes and honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to education and its profession in West Bend.
Murphy was selected for this honor because of his tireless commitment and advocacy to education and leadership in the West Bend community.
“Mike’s diverse and long-standing leadership and commitment to the West Bend community through his 20 plus years of involvement with United Way with an emphasis on education is noteworthy for this recognition,” said Kristin Brandner, Executive Director of the United Way of Washington County. “Knowing Doug Ziegler’s long-standing commitment to service, Mike exhibits many similar traits – passion, reliability, being results-driven, possessing an unselfishness of time and treasure, and overall having the desire to make a difference by making West Bend a better place for generations to come. Mike is an ideal candidate for this award because he has both personally and professional led a life of service, benefitting countless lives here in our community.“
“Mike has dedicated his life to helping children become productive and happy members of our community,” said Tim Dehring, Past President of the West Bend Public Schools Foundation (WBPSF). “Mike has a reputation as a caring educator, a fair-minded principal, and now a committed public servant. He always considers the child first and refrains from judgement, instead focusing on problem resolution and the good in everyone. Mike is truly one of the ‘good guys.’”
Murphy is a recognized leader in the education field, teaching in the Grafton School District, Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin Washington County and the West Bend School District. In West Bend, Murphy served as principal at Badger Middle School, WBSD Curriculum Coordinator, and principal at Fair Park Elementary school, where he retired in 2010. In 2012, Murphy became the Executive Director of the West Bend Public Schools Foundation.
“Mike was the most amazing principal you could ever imagine,” said Shelly Schulteis, a third-grade teacher at Fair Park Elementary. “He was able to inspire others he had contact with to reach beyond themselves, as he simultaneously cultivated a collaborative and team-centered building. Mike had the innate ability to not only make us better educators, but inspire us to be better individuals. Mike’s unwavering dedication to the community, while displaying the highest level of commitment to leading and teaching with an ethical and moral compass, make him the perfect candidate for this award.”
“Mr. Murphy’s efforts on the WBPSF board have given many of our students the opportunity to experience excellence in many ways, just one of which is the new Silver Lining Arts Center auditorium at the high schools, a project that was nearly single-handedly managed by Mike,” Dehring said. “Mike also championed the Sumer Music Series to not only benefit the West Bend School District, but provide the citizens of West Bend with an enjoyable, relaxing night of fun and music in Regner Park,”
Murphy has received professional recognition for his commitment to education, including the UW Centers’ Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award in 1987 and being named the State of Wisconsin Educator of the Year in 2003. Mike’s knowledge is also valued within the community, as evidenced by his appointment to the Mayoral “2020 Comprehensive Plan for the City of West Bend” task force.
In addition to Murphy’s professional commitment to the community, he has routinely demonstrated a high level of involvement with local organizations. He is a long-time Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County; served on the Board of Directors for Washington, Ozaukee, and Waukesha County Workforce Development Youth Council; served as chair of the American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” committee for the event’s first four years in West Bend; served the United Way of Washington County as the Education Chair, and also as a full board member for the past six years, two of which he served as president.
The Doug Ziegler Advocate for Education Award was named in honor of Doug Ziegler for his 60-year commitment to building a legacy of community involvement in the West Bend School District. Ziegler was the first recipient of the award in 2014. Ziegler served the education community through service as a Board of Education member for the West Bend School District. He also served his state and nation through service as a board member on many non-profit boards. Doug Ziegler supported the community through his commitments to local causes, business contributions to support the growth of thousands of regional citizens, and his legacy of service.