The Search for the next superintendent of Memphis-Shelby County Schools is underway. During this process, the District is committed to informing our families and providing opportunities for community input. The Search webpage is one of the ways we are upholding those commitments. The page includes important information, key documents, and a living timeline. Check back regularly for updates on The Search.
Nov. 4, 2022: Board Chair Greene Confirms National Search on Twitter
Rev. Greene greets MSCS Students.
Rev. Greene was appointed to the Board in 2019 and is the current Chair.
The Shelby County Board of Education will kick off a national search for a new superintendent this month with a vote to launch a request for proposals, said Board Chair Rev. Althea Greene. A request for proposals, or RFP, is necessary before interested search firms can apply for a contract to lead the process. Greene confirmed in October that the Board would pay for an outside firm to guide the superintendent search to ensure complete transparency.
Greene’s Nov. 4 announcement via Twitter was the latest public announcement in the Board’s commitment to engage the community and recruit nationwide candidates. “We expect to name a new superintendent by the end of the 2022-23 school year,” Greene stated in the post.
The MSCS Board will kick off a national search for a new superintendent this month with a vote to launch an RFP to find a search firm. From there, we can hire a firm, engage the community and recruit candidates. We expect to name a new superintendent by the end of the 2022-2023
Oct. 28-29, 2022: School Board Retreat Offers Times to Review Policies
Vice Chair Member Sheleah Harris addresses her colleagues at the retreat.
The search for a new superintendent was one of several topics discussed at the Shelby County Board of Education’s annual retreat. The Board said it values community input and added that community members will have an opportunity to provide feedback during the selection process.
Board Chair Greene announced that community representatives would be a part of committees dedicated to the search. She added that the District will communicate regularly through this website to keep the public well-informed.
The board will establish a process that includes a review of current policies pertaining to the superintendent search and qualifications to ensure that the policies reflect the Board’s vision for the role. Board members will review those policies and prepare to discuss any modifications at an upcoming committee meeting.
The board also discussed community relations, academic goals, and District policies.
Oct. 17, 2022: New Board Member Appointed
New Board Member Frank Johnson is sworn in during Board meeting.
The Shelby County Commission named former LaRose ES teacher and South Memphis community activist Frank Johnson to the Shelby County Board of Education. Johnson will cast one of the deciding votes for the next superintendent.
Johnson works with the Center for Transforming Communities, a nonprofit that engages, equips, and mobilizes individuals, organizations, and congregations to be agents of holistic transformation in their neighborhoods and communities.
Johnson replaces longtime board member Miska Clay Bibbs, who left the board in August to serve on the Shelby County Commission. Johnson will represent areas in southeast Memphis, including Oakhaven and Parkway Village.
Aug. 31, 2022: New Board Members Keith Williams and Amber Huett-Garcia Sworn In
New Board Member Amber Huett-Garcia is sworn in at the Cannon Center.
New Board Member Keith Williams is sworn in at the Cannon Center.
New members will join Board Members Stephanie Love, Kevin Woods, and Sheleah Harris in appointing the new superintendent. The selection and appointment process is outlined in Board Policy. Following their elections, new Shelby County School Board Members Keith Williams and Amber Huett-Garcia were sworn-in during a public ceremony at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Williams represents District 6, which serves parts of Whitehaven, Westwood, South Memphis, and Riverside. Huett-Garcia represents District 8, which serves East Memphis.
Also sworn in were incumbent Board Members Michelle McKissack, whose District 1 zone includes Downtown and Midtown, and Joyce Dorse-Coleman whose District 9 zone includes Orange Mound. On the same night, Miska Clay Bibbs was sworn in to her new seat on the County Commission. On Oct. 17, the Commission will appoint a new member to her now-open District 7 School Board seat, covering South Memphis and Parkway Village.
Aug. 30, 2022: Toni Williams Named Interim Superintendent
Toni Williams named Interim Superintendent.
Shelby County School Board appointed District Chief Financial Officer Toni Williams as Interim Superintendent. Bishop Althea Greene nominated Williams, describing her as an “experienced professional and homegrown product of MSCS.”
Williams began her career in school leadership in 2014, helping with the first audits after the merger of legacy Shelby County and Memphis City Schools. Williams said that she will lead with a focus on improvements in academic performance and business operations. In a message to the MSCS family following her appointment, she encouraged the community to unite “at this pivotal moment.”
Aug. 23, 2022: Dr. Joris Ray Resigns as Superintendent
Dr. Joris Ray resigns as Superintendent.
In a Special Called Meeting, the Shelby County School Board and Dr. Joris Ray announced a severance agreement and the resignation of Dr. Ray from his position as superintendent. The resignation ends an external review into “allegations of employment misconduct” launched on July 13. Reading a resolution, Board Chair Michelle McKissack states, “The Board has not received any complaint by any current or former employee alleging misconduct by Dr. Ray related to the pending investigation.”
Dr. Ray served the District for 24 years and began his tenure as Superintendent in 2019. During his superintendency, he navigated the District through the challenges of a global pandemic. Immediately following the announcement, Deputy Superintendents Dr. Angela Whitelaw and Dr. John Barker release a message of reassurance to the MSCS Family.