Alumni Profile: Murray Peyton
Dr. Murray Peyton (Ed.M.'71, Ed.D.'81) jokes that it took him until age 42 to discover what he really wanted to do with his career.
Peyton earned his undergraduate degree in Classics from Princeton University in 1957. After graduation he taught Latin at a private school in Boston for a year prior to meeting his two year Army service obligation at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.
In Columbus, Peyton met Ramona Segrest and they married in 1960. After a brief banking internship, thanks to his grandfather, in Duluth, Minnesota, Peyton and his southern belle traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii. There, Peyton taught at the Punahou School, which is the largest independent school in the country, for two years.
Peyton bypassed an opportunity to move into the banking world, where his three prior paternal generations had successfully labored. He continued in private school teaching in Denver and Atlanta until 1966, and then Peyton ventured out into the field of private industry management training.
Peyton spent two years in the field, but the travel demands and time away from his wife and two young daughters brought him back to private school teaching. Peyton accepted an offer to teach at the Hun School in Princeton, and he moved his family to Pennington, where he has lived for nearly 47 years.
The ensuing two years left him no closer to finding his niche in the working world. Deciding that he should capitalize on his experience in education he chose to shift into the public sphere and school administration.
“Although I felt that I had some success in teaching, I felt that my calling was not as a teacher,” explains Peyton. “I thought that, in public school administration, I might have a broader impact on students, albeit not directly as in teaching.”
He saw an opportunity to make that impact by furthering his education at Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) in the field of public school administration and finance. At the GSE Peyton helped finance his education via an internship with The New Jersey School Development Council, planning education workshops and publishing a quarterly magazine.
After earning a master’s degree in 1971 and spending a second year in commencing his pursuit of a doctorate, Peyton served a year as an administrative assistant to Dr. Eugene J. Bradford, Superintendent of The Caldwell-West Caldwell Public Schools. At that point Peyton felt that he could begin to make the impact that he sought.
Over the course of the next five years Peyton finally found his calling in school business administration, with notable help from the GSE faculty and GSE colleagues and contacts. He worked successively in Watchung Borough, Dunellen, and Warren Township, securing his Ed.D.in 1981 and retiring in 1999. During those years in the position of school business administrator, he enjoyed developing and managing the budget, helping solve facilities issues, creating transportation efficiencies, forecasting enrollment, working with school support services staff, and building relationships with fellow school business administrators.
In recalling these activities Peyton speaks highly of his GSE experience and contacts in preparing him and paving the way for his nearly quarter century in the public school business field.
If you are interested in furthering your education to find your niche and to make an impact for students, follow the path of Peyton and earn your degree from the GSE.