On Aug. 2, Mrs. Murdock will begin her new role as principal of Cherokee High School - just a year after leaving the school as an assistant principal to lead Teasley Middle School.
"I'm really excited to come back to the school where I was an assistant principal," she said.
Mrs. Murdock was appointed by county Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo in April to take the helm at Cherokee High after former Principal Pam Biser announced her retirement.
"I think she's well-suited to run Cherokee High School," Petruzielo said, adding that Mrs. Murdock has the right balance of compassion and sternness. "I think she will be someone who will provide outstanding leadership. We feel like that's going to be an excellent assignment for her."
Mrs. Murdock said she was surprised by Mrs. Biser's retirement, and felt her transfer to the post was a natural progression.
While at Cherokee High as an assistant principal, Mrs. Murdock, 39, of Canton, was responsible for heading up the Ninth Grade Academy.
The academy functions like a school within a school, with all freshman classes conducted in a separate hall. The freshmen take classes and eat lunch only with each other.
If a student begins to show signs of possibly failing a class with a grade of 73 or lower, that student loses half of his lunch hour and must participate in mandatory tutoring.
The first Ninth Grade Academy, she said, will be Cherokee High's senior class this year. Being so familiar with that senior class, she said, will help her in communicating with those students.
In her new role, Mrs. Murdock said thinks her familiarity with the students and their families will give her a leg up in being successful at the school.
Mrs. Murdock said she also plans to analyze Cherokee High test results and work on ways to continue the school's rising SAT scores.
"There was marked progress under Mrs. Biser," she said, adding she's hoping to continue that trend.
She also wants to "get creative" by thinking outside the box and finding community resources to help boost student achievement. She also would like to use teachers in different ways, such as possibly having them serving as mentors and tutors.
It's important, she said, to learn what students' strengths and weaknesses are and encourage them to take advanced courses.
Mrs. Murdock previously taught science and social studies at E.T. Booth Middle as well as at Woodstock Middle and Creekland Middle. She served one year as an administrator at Chapman Intermediate before heading to Cherokee High as assistant principal.
She graduated from Cherokee High School in 1988 and earned her bachelor's degree in middle grades education from Kennesaw State University in 1992. She earned her master's degree in middle grades education from KSU in 1995.
She earned her education specialist degree in administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University in 1999.
Mrs. Murdock and her husband, Lance, have two sons, Jesey, 14, and Jarrett, 10.
Mrs. Murdock said she wants Cherokee High parents to know she's a local woman, who loves the community and is dedicated to every student.
"I'm committed to making this work for every child," she said. "I won't stop until we help every child at Cherokee High School succeed."