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Wausau superintendent hired for job in Iowa City

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (WSAU) – Wausau Superintendent Steve Murley will become the next superintendent in Iowa City, Iowa.

The school board there offered Murley the job Tuesday night. He accepted and will replace retiring Superintendent Lane Plugge, effective July 1st.

Murley said he is leaving the Wausau school district in a better position after 11 years, the last five as superintendent.

“We're really providing a unique and rich educational environment for the kids,” he said, adding his decision had nothing to do with a teachers union vote of no confidence in him in November.

“The labor issues that we dealt with here played no factor in my decision,” Murley said.

“Our loss here in Wausau is Iowa City's gain,” said Wausau school board president Dale Lawson. “I know the type of leader that he is and he will be able to go down there and help that community become stronger also.”

One of three finalists for the job, Murley said a search consultant for the Iowa City school district approached him about the job in February. He pursued it for several reasons.

“When they posed to me the challenges in front of them, they look in many ways similar to those that we have tackled in the past few years here,” Murley said. “Their challenges are definitely related to the growth of the community.”

Murley also said he looks forward to working in the same home city of the University of Iowa and several major educational companies, including the firm that administers the ACT college exam.

Lawson said the school board will meet in closed session Monday to begin discussing how to fill Murley's position, including whether to search locally or nationally for a replacement.

“Steve has been very well respected and the Wausau community is losing a good leader,” Lawson. “But the school board is committed to finding another good leader to lead our district.”

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