Tonya Murphy, a Rowan Middle School parent and the 2012 JPS Parent of the Year, was recognized as a State Parent of the Year finalist by the Mississippi State Board of Education during the Board's regular meeting July 20, 2012. JPS Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray congratulated Murphy for the honor. Murphy's other supporters included the Rowan librarian, her co-workers from Operation Shoestring, and associates from Parents for Public Schools of Greater Jackson where she has served as a facilitator since graduating from the organization's Parent Leadership Institute in 2006.
Murphy was named the Jackson Public Schools Parent of the Year in April 2012 and became the district's representative for the State award. Her sons Gregory and Jordan were students at Rowan Middle School when she was named.