GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Gadsden State Community College will have a new leader with the start of the new year.

Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy has been appointed president of the community college and will begin serving in that position on Jan. 1, 2021. The announcement was made during a meeting of the Alabama Community College System trustees on Wednesday, reported.

“Dr. Murphy is a visionary educator with a proven record of focusing on all aspects of the student experience, which is the leadership we aim for at every community college in our state,” Alabama Community College Chancellor Jimmy Baker said. “I am confident that Dr. Murphy’s determination to work alongside the faculty, staff and community at Gadsden State will reap great benefits for the college as they continue to provide the education and skills training needed for Alabama’s workforce.”

Murphy replaces Martha Lavender, who retired Sept. 1.

Gadsden State has five campuses and educational centers in Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah and St. Clair counties. The college offers degrees and certifications across 17 programs of study.

Murphy, who has more than 30 years in experience in public schools, has been superintendent in Hoover City Schools since 2015. Before becoming superintendent, Murphy also served as superintendent of Monroe County schools and as principal of Charles Henderson and Greenville High Schools and Greenville Middle School.

Murphy was also a professor at the University of West Georgia and Judson College.

“The opportunity to serve Alabamians in Anniston, Centre, and Gadsden in this capacity is a privilege I am honored to pursue,” Murphy said. “I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues and students to ensure that we are best serving generations of college- and career-bound students who choose Gadsden State as part of their path.”

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