About Us

Lisa Smithson

Lisa Smithson Principal lisa_smithson@hcpss.org
As an educator in the Howard County Public School System for over 20 years, I am excited to enter into my second year as the Principal of Murray Hill Middle School. I am a product of Howard County Public Schools as I attended Talbott Springs Elementary, Clarksville Middle School, Harper’s Choice Middle School, and I am a proud graduate of Wilde Lake High School. I attended Howard University, in Washington, D.C., where I earned a B.A. in English and my Masters of Education. I am committed to providing an engaging academic environment for all students and building a school community in which the well-being of each and every one of our students is consistently the priority. I will continue to collaborate with the MHMS staff to provide our students with challenging and rigorous academics, as well as meaningful experiences to enrich their growth and development. I look forward to all of the staff and students at MHMS stretching themselves to achieve their ultimate potential. Please note, that I can be contacted at lisa_smithson@hcpss.org.

Mathias Bama

Mathias Bama Assistant Principal mathias_bama@hcpss.org
Dr. Bama believes that every student can learn and that each student has within them what it takes to achieve at high levels. He notes that faculty and staff are the catalysts for academic excellence. Dr. Bama is passionate about setting high expectations and standards for student success and facilitating the educational achievement of our young people. He is committed to removing all barriers that impede the academic success of students. The educational mission for Dr. Bama began in 1985 in the country of Cameroon where Dr. Bama taught English to junior high and senior high school students for many years. He possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Yaounde University, Yaounde, Cameroon; a Master of Public Administration Degree from Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and a Doctorate in Education, Urban Education Leadership Degree from Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Bama has served on several Howard County-wide Committees such as the School Discipline Policy Committee, the World language Committee, and the Interview Committee. In addition to his service in school administration, Dr. Bama served for ten years as a member of the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals’ (M.A.S.S.P) Assistant Principals’ Conference Planning Committee. Dr. Bama was elected Conference Chairman in 2005 and served in that role until 2009. For his service to M.A.S.S.P, he was awarded the 2009 M.A.S.S.P Service Award for outstanding leadership, service, and dedication. Dr. Bama is married and has four children including two in college. He loves reading, sightseeing, volunteering, and athletics. (Soon to be updated)

Alexia Couch

Alexia Couch Assistant Principal alexia_couch@hcpss.org
I am excited to begin my first year here at Murray Hill Middle. This is my 21st year working with middle school students and my fourth year as an Assistant Principal. I have taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Math and Engineering in Howard County, Montgomery County, and in Kentucky. My degrees are in Middle School Education, Technology in Education, and Administration and Supervision. I have high expectations for the scholars at Murray Hill Middle School and I look forward to working with all students and their families to make sure our children excel in their learning! I remind students daily that they can "Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!" When I am not at school you can find me baking, reading, or helping my husband shuttle our two middle school children around to their various activities. My door is always open, please stop by anytime to chat. I look forward to seeing and meeting each of you!

School Overview


Responsible. Respectful. Ready. 

School Profile: Murray Hill Middle School
Fast facts about Murray Hill MS listing special programs, total enrollment, accomplishments and more.

MSDE Individual School Performance Report
The Individual School Performance Report for each school is provided by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and reflects the school's proficiency levels on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA).

Community Superintendent

With a focus on instruction as a birth-through-graduation continuum, Community Superintendents better position the school system to support students throughout their entire journey with HCPSS. View community superintendents by regional area.

Community Superintendent Area 1: Marcy Leonard

Board of Education Representative

Howard County public schools are divided into school clusters, which are assigned to individual Board members to facilitate school visitations, attend special events, and provide a point of contact for each school community. View all BOE school cluster assignments.

MHMS BOE Representative: Kirsten Coombs