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Woodland Hills School Board accepts resignation of embattled principal Kevin Murray

Jamie Martines
| Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, 8:57 p.m.
Kevin Murray, as seen Dec. 6, 2016.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Kevin Murray, as seen Dec. 6, 2016.
Woodland Hills High School
Ben Schmitt | Tribune-Review
Woodland Hills High School

The Woodland Hills School Board voted Wednesday night to accept the resignation of its controversial high school principal and football coach.

Kevin Murray submitted his resignation as football coach last week. The school board was to act on that resignation Wednesday night; his resignation as high school principal was added to the agenda moments before the vote.

Murray had been placed on administrative leave as high school principal on Nov. 30 but returned to the job in January.

This summer, the state Department of Education delayed renewing his teaching certification for the upcoming school year amid several high-profile controversies involving treatment of students.

Authorities investigated an incident in which an audio recording surfaced of him allegedly threatening a 14-year-old special education student.

Murray can be heard on the recording saying, "I'll punch you right in your face, dude," and "I'll knock your (expletive) teeth down your throat." Murray did not face charges in connection with the incident.

Murray's attorney, Phil DiLucente, issued a brief statement Wednesday night: "I can confirm that Kevin Murray has resigned as principal and head football coach at Woodland Hills. It was in the best interest of both parties."

"It's a difficult chapter that we're closing now," Superintendent Alan Johnson said after the board meeting.

Pittsburgh attorney Todd Hollis, who represents Woodland Hills students who have been involved in violent incidents at the school, issued a statement, too:

"We are extremely encouraged by the removal of Kevin Murray from his role as principal and coach. However, we realize that it isn't the time to celebrate. There is more work to be done. The children deserve more.

"I want to thank our dedicated supporters who have pounded the pavement to bring us to this day. We will continue to march on until all the children at (Woodland Hills High School) receive a quality education."

Assistant Principal Candee Nagy will serve as a substitute principal to start the school year.

Nagy has been with the district as assistant principal since 2014, according to Johnson. She previously worked in the Wilkinsburg School District, Johnson said.

Nagy will be paid a daily rate of $37.57 on top of her current salary of about $85,000.

The district will begin a search for a new principal after the resignation process is completed, Johnson said.

Staff writer Ben Schmitt contributed to this report. Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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