Anita Murphy receives national award for outstanding leadership

District Superintendent Anita Murphy smiling, standing with Director of Engagement and Development Services, Adrienne Leon
Anita Murphy, Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent with Adrienne Leon, APR; Director of Engagement and Development Services, at NSPRA 2022.

Anita Murphy, Capital Region BOCES district superintendent, received the 2022 National School Public Relations Association’s (NSPRA) Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award this week at the association’s annual conference in Chicago. Murphy was selected from a pool of school leaders from across the United States and is the first school district superintendent in New York to win this honor.

The award, named in memory of Robert L. Grossman, ASPR, is given to a school district superintendent or CEO who displays outstanding leadership in public relations and communications. Grossman, an NSPRA past president, believed that the support and commitment of our top education leaders is vital to successful school communication.

Since her arrival at Capital Region BOCES, Murphy has been instrumental in growing the communication service, which helps school leaders create two-way relationships and communicate with their publics. Murphy works closely with the Director of Engagement and Development Services, Adrienne Leon, APR, who serves on the BOCES senior cabinet to ensure that communications efforts align with the BOCES’ strategic plan.

In addition to supporting the growth of the communications service, now the Engagement and Development Services division, of Capital Region BOCES, Murphy provided necessary leadership of the 24 component school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A key cornerstone of our #24United strategy has been communication. You cannot underestimate the power in 24 school districts all releasing the same message. All giving parents, students and staff the same reassurance. When you know you’re getting the same information, the same guidance, the same path forward as your neighbor down the road – that your kids are being given the same resources and opportunities as the kids in the neighboring community – that makes the crisis that much easier to weather,” Murphy said during the NSPRA conference.

Murphy, who was appointed District Superintendent of Capital Region BOCES in 2017, has had a long, successful career as an educational leader. Prior to joining BOCES, Murphy was superintendent of the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District in Central New York. A former teacher in Binghamton, Murphy also served as deputy superintendent in both the Rochester City and Syracuse City Schools and the director of instruction in the Albany City Schools, as well as an associate commissioner of the New York State Education Department.

Since joining BOCES, Murphy has focused on state-level responsibilities, such as assisting the New York state education commissioner with implementing statewide initiatives, overseeing the administration of state grants and working with the regional information centers on data warehousing, testing and regional planning. These efforts have been crucial to the success of students in districts in rural, suburban and urban settings.

“I am extremely humbled by this award and share in this honor with the dedicated team of school communicators and support professionals I have the privilege of working with–and learning from–each day,” Murphy said. “Considerable thanks are also due to the other members of our administrative team, our colleagues across our BOCES, the Capital Region BOCES Board of Education, and my peers and collaborators who lead our 24 component school districts.”

To learn more about the National School Public Relations Association’s (NSPRA) Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award, visit