From the Deputy's Desk: Susie Hedalen is the Deputy Superintendent for Education Services
September 19, 2019
The U.S. Department of Education approved Montana's state education plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on January 19, 2018. The OPI is beginning our second year of school support and improvement under ESSA, which gives states and local schools additional flexibility to provide innovative education solutions for students.
Julie Murgel is the OPI's ESSA Accountability Coordinator. Julie’s primary role is to implement all components of the Montana’s Consolidated State Plan by advancing a comprehensive system of individual school accountability and continuous improvement, striving towards long-term student growth and promoting local control and flexibility. Julie leads the OPI Title I school support team which works in partnership with districts for school accountability and continuous improvement. Julie also collaborates with multiple programs within the OPI, and other agencies, to coordinate between various grants and initiatives to streamline services. She uses a data-driven approach to guide her work and has a passion for equity, innovation, and cultivating leadership and empowerment in others.
Since graduating from Carroll College in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in education, Julie has dedicated her professional life to educating children for over 25 years. She earned her Masters of Arts degree in Education with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction in 1999 from Regis University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Denver in 2011. Julie’s breadth of experience as an elementary, middle and high school principal, assistant principal, district curriculum specialist, and elementary and secondary mathematics teacher allows her to approach her work with knowledge and expertise that spans the K-12 spectrum.
Through her collaborative leadership style, Julie led a dynamic community of educators and families in Denver Public Schools to design and re-open a K-8 turn-around school, which became an effective rated school within three years and was awarded the State of Colorado 2010 Center of Excellence Award. Starting in 2014, she led the transformation of a 6-12th grade turn-around school, from a four- graduation rate under 50% to an 86.4% four-year high school graduation rate, and 96.4% five-year graduation rate with a 1.4% drop-out rate.
Over the last year, Julie worked at the Montana Office of Public Instruction as a School Improvement Specialist in the Special Education Division. She transitioned into the ESSA Coordinator position in May 2019 and in her new role continues to strive toward equity and opportunity for all students.