By Scott McKie 

Cherokee One Feather


Former Jackson County School Superintendent Mike Murray, now in the same position with Cherokee Central Schools, has been named Western Region Superintendent of the Year.

He now qualifies for the state award, known as the A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year Award.

His tenure as Jackson County school superintendent began in July 2011, when he took over the position from Sue Nations, who retired. He was a McDowell County associate superintendent before taking the reins in Jackson.

He left in May 2017 for Cherokee Central Schools.

Current superintendent Kim Elliott took over.

Murray said this is  a win for mountain schools in Western North Carolina.

“Ultimately, none of the far west has ever gotten the credit they deserve,” he said. “I think it’s important for our region to not only be acknowledged by the state, but, our region has led in test scores for years. Our mountain students are the smartest students in the state. We have high expectations and they live up to them.”

The Western Region represents 13 counties “from Hendersonville to Murphy” Murray said. The Superintendent of the Year award will be announced during the NCSBA Conference in Greensboro on Nov. 13.