Globe Local


Scholarship fund will honor Peabody’s late school superintendent

The Peabody Education Foundation has found a way to honor the memory of the city’s late school superintendent Cara E. Murtagh, who died suddenly last Nov. 29 at the age of 44.

The nonprofit announced recently it had established a permanent scholarship fund in Murtagh’s name, according to the group’s president, David Gravel. Starting this year, the fund will award an annual $2,500 scholarship to a Peabody Veterans Memorial High School senior who has an interest in pursuing a career in education and meets other criteria such as being in good academic standing and being engaged in the community.

Murtagh, a Peabody resident, was a longtime member of the board of the foundation, which annually distributes grants to teachers in the Peabody schools for initiatives that would not ordinarily be funded in the budget.


Gravel said Murtagh played a particularly active role in the grant selection process, providing guidance on which of the proposed grants would have the most impact on students.

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At the time of her death, Murtagh’s family requested that donations in her memory be made to the foundation in lieu of flowers. The foundation was inspired to create the fund by the large number of community members who responded by making donations, “and the idea of keeping Cara’s name alive within the school system for many many years to come,” said Gravel, a former Peabody School Committee member and city councilor.

Applications for the Cara E. Murtagh Memorial Scholarship are available at, or at the high school guidance department.

John Laidler can be reached at