Ms. Murdoch to Retire After 24 Year Career

“I’ll miss it all!” Ms. Murdoch said.   Photo Credit: Shyanne Hinds

“I’ll miss it all!” Ms. Murdoch said.

Photo Credit: Shyanne Hinds


On the first floor, Ms. Jean Murdoch has been sitting at the same desk in room 134 for 24 years. This year will be her last, as she will be retiring from the hive this June. 

As  secretary of the guidance office, her roles in Midwood include planning graduations and open houses for incoming 9th and 10th graders, updating Midwood’s brochures, gathering Midwood student representatives to greet incoming Midwood students, and helping process applications for 9th graders who want to take specialized high school tests.

Ms. Murdoch’s role in guidance spans all four years of a student’s time at Midwood.

“I watch the kids come in, and I watch them leave,” she said. 

Some of Ms. Murdoch’s favorite memories in Midwood are the graduations. 

“Each one is special,” she said. “but my favorite was when Ms. Bren’s kids graduated.”

Ms. Fern Bren, the assistant principal of guidance, sits in the same office as Ms. Murdoch.

Ms. Murdoch was  herself a student at Midwood, graduating in 1975.

“I remember when Ms. Kaufman was my math teacher, and now we’re friends,” she said.

Over these last 24 years, Ms. Murdoch has gotten close to many students and teachers.

“I’ll miss my friends, I’ll miss everything,” said Ms. Murdoch. “I felt like I had a purpose here.”

Ms. Kendra Lane, one of the guidance counselors at Midwood, regards Ms. Murdoch as like a “second mother.” She has known her for nine years. Ms. Murdoch even attended her wedding in Mexico. 

“I don’t think anything happens in this school without going through her office,” said Ms. Lane. “She is the heart and soul of our department.”

Ms. Megan Thomas, a guidance counselor who has been working with her for two years, said, “When I’m having a bad day,  Jeanny (Murdoch) will make me laugh, or she’ll say something funny, or she’ll make fun of me to snap me out of it.”

Guidance Counselor Marcy Kotler said, “Ms. Murdoch is truly the heartbeat of the guidance department. She helps all of the counselors, students, and faculty members in any shape or form. For me, it has been a blessing. She’s a great comrade and an even better friend. She’s caring, loving, understanding, responsible; she is all the things that you want in a dedicated employee and friend.”

Shahida Islam ’19, a monitor of two years for Ms. Murdoch, said, “A memorable memory of mine is when she calls my friends and me ‘nerds’ since we’re in her office every day.” 

“She is very helpful and gives great advice when I need academically or just in general,” Islam said. “She’s also very funny.”

Ms. Erin Carroll, who’s been working with Ms. Murdoch for six years, said, “Everyone cares about her because she cares about everyone else.”

During her retirement, Ms. Murdoch is planning to relax and go on vacation.

“I’m looking forward to taking time to myself, traveling, and doing things when I want to do them,” she said. She also has two weddings to help plan, since both her children are getting ready to tie the knot.

Working with students for these last 24 years has changed her perspective of the world and people.

“I feel more compassionate and open, not as narrow minded,” said Ms. Murdoch. “I’ve learned a lot about people and family dynamics.”

Any words of advice?

“Just enjoy what you do,” she said. “Don’t rush to go anywhere. Things will happen, time will pass.”

FeaturesCasey Levinson