Administrative & Supervisory Staff

Michael J. Kopp, Executive Director

Mr. Kopp has been working directly with children and staff in Residential programs since 1975. After receiving his bachelor's degree in Education, he started his work with children at a private, non-profit residential treatment center in Pennsylvania.

During his tenure there, he earned his Master's Degree in Special Education from Shippensburg University. After 11 years of service at the residential facility, Mr. Kopp was invited to join the Murphey School as a Program Manager. In 1992, he became the Executive Director.

Mr. Kopp's focus is on providing each child with a caring, options-loaded program that will allow each to develop into responsible and capable adults.

He was instrumental in the development of the Independent Living Program, including living arrangements on campus that help young adults successfully transition out of foster care during the ages of 18 to 21.

Mr. Kopp maintains a residence on the campus and is available during emergencies. He and his wife, Susie, raised their three children, Sasha, Seth, and Zachary in that home. They currently have 8 grandchildren.

He can be reached at mkopp (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Grace Halama, Director of Personnel

Mrs. Halama had worked at a Residential Treatment Center for 4 years before coming to the Murphey School. In 1984, starting out as a Houseparent in the cottages, moved on to supervisor, then Manager of Support Services, and eventually developed the position as Director of Personnel. She received her Master's Degree in Administration of Human Services from Wilmington University. Her role as Personnel Director entails overseeing all personnel matters, including hiring, training, supervising volunteers and interns, managing safety procedures, worker's comp, and FMLA issues, etc. She is pictured here with her dog, Doobie.

She can be reached at ghalama (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Jim Nye, Director of Programming

Mr. Nye got his start at the Murphey School in 1998 as an intern with Delaware Tech's Human Services program. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science in 2001, and his Master's degree in Administration of Human Services in 2016. Mr. Nye has been a Houseparent, Cottage Supervisor, Independent Living Program Manager, and has served in his current capacity as the Director of Programming since 2007.

As Director of Programming, he provides leadership by directing the Cottage Managers in the implementation of policy, monitoring how the policy is used in the cottages, and works with the rest of the administrative team to keep the entire School network running smoothly.

He can be reached at jnye (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Gail Worthey, Bradford Cottage Manager

Ms. worthey enjoys reading, laughing with friends, and making others laugh. She has been employed at the Murphey School for over twenty years, first as a houseparent before becoming supervisor. She believes her strong morals and family values as well as her own experience as a mother has helped her learn how to raise self-reliant children. Her purpose is to help children heal to become whole. She can be reached at gworthey (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Melissa Briddell, Elizabeth Cottage Manager

Mrs. Briddell's passion has always been to work with children in care. After working at the Murphey School as a houseparent from 1999 until 2002, she took a position as a Supervisor with People's Place until 2007. In that year, she went to work for CEC @ SCI in Georgetown, and subsequently earned her CAAC credentials to become a certified associate drug and alcohol counselor in 2010. In June of 2011, Mrs. Briddell returned to Murphey School as a Program Manager for the teenage boys' cottage. She graduated from Ashworth College in August of 2013 with a Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling.

Mrs. Briddell and her husband have also served as foster parents, through Pressley Ridge and DMR Services, from 1997 until 2007. She loves to spend her free time with her family.

She can be reached at mbriddell (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Murlene Clark, Florence Cottage Manager

Ms. Clark is a former houseparent who was promoted to cottage manager in 2017.

She can be reached at mclark (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

April Harvey, Sanford Cottage Manager

April has been working at the Murphey School since 1999, when she started as a houseparent in the younger boys' cottage. In 2000, she transferred to the teenage girls' cottage and was promoted to Assistant Supervisor and then Cottage Manager, while also mentoring youth in the campus's Independent Living Program.

Some of April's job responsibilities include managing and training all employees within the cottage, creating monthly schedules, staying in regular contact with social workers, writing service plans for children in care, participating in court hearings, making sure all cottage paperwork is properly completed, and sharing in emergency on-call duty.

April is currently certified in CPR, First Aid, Limited Lay Assistance of Medication, and ServSafe training. She has also attended Trauma Informed Care and Prudent Parenting trainings.

She graduated from Caesar Rodney High School in 1993 and went on to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware. April has always had a passion and desire for helping people, and feels the most important part of her job is getting the opportunity to teach the kids about unconditional love and self-respect. She feels each client she has worked with in the past, is currently working with, or will work with in the future deserves the opportunity to create happy memories, be loved, and become successful.

She can be reached at aharvey (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Ed Cregar, Jr., Family Reunification Specialist

Ed Cregar, Jr., MEd, HS-BCP, is the Family Reunification Specialist at The Elizabeth W. Murphey School. Ed is a graduate of Wilmington University (1994) and is a Board Certified Practitioner of Human Services and brings 29 years of experience working with youth and families. First, as a classroom instructor and liaison to the families with children in residential treatment and for the past 23 years, worked to shape the process of family reunification at the Murphey School with the goal of helping each child and family achieve and maintain their optimal level of reconnection.

In its nearly 100 years of service to children and families, Murphey School has always been deeply aware of the impact of separation and loss on children and parents. Although a full reentry of a child back into the family may not always be possible, the reunification process provides other forms of contact when appropriate, such as phone calls, emails, on and off campus visitations, including home visitations. Not every parent can be a daily caregiver. However, most families, though not being able to live together, can still maintain their family bonds which can be an essential element for children to feel like they have control of their lives and not that life has taken control of them.

In Murphey's effort to assist with the understanding of the physical and emotional toll the sense of separation, abandonment and loss can have on families, Ed developed a training entitled "Hole in the Heart", which has become a mainstay of the initial training new staff and interns receive at The Murphey School.

Ed and his wife Heather reside in Dover with Dottie (The Wonder Dog).

He can be reached at ecregar (at) murpheyschool [dot] org.

Nicole Hylton, Independent Living Program Manager

Ms. Hylton has worked in the human services field since 1997. She is passionate about improving the lives of disadvantaged children and youth. She earned her Masters of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Early Childhood and Human Services from the University of Delaware. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, and new adventures. Her two sons, Anthony and Nicholas, are the loves of her life and the source of her greatest pride.

She can be reached at nhylton (at)

Debbie Satterfield, Nurse

Debbie became a nurse in 1997 after receiving her Associates Degree from Wesley College in Dover. She received her Bachelors Degree in Science in 1999 from Wilmington Collage. Her experience in nursing prior to coming to the Murphey School in 2011 was with critical care pediatrics and chronically ill patients. At the Murphey School, Debbie maintains the daily medical records and the residents' medications.

She communicates daily with staff, Personal Care Providers, Psychiatrists, and Nurse Practitioners in regards to medication review evaluations and other health needs to help provide optimal health care for each child. She also communicates the medical and medication needs of residents to school nurses and assesses clients as needed for medical and follow-up care. Debbie trains personnel in Limited Lay Administration of Medications (LLAM) and all company medical policies and procedures. She believes the best part of her job are the smiles and hugs she receives from residents.

She can be reached at (302) 734-7478, ext. 22.