Memphis-Shelby County Schools Superintendent Toni Williams and School Board member Kevin Woods have been named to the Memphis Business Journal (MBJ) 4th Annual Power 100 list. The section profiles the 100 most powerful people in the Mid-South as chosen by the editorial staff. According to the MBJ, the honorees are “The 100 individuals whose entrepreneurial spark, business light, and civic charge electrify Memphis.”
When Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) needed new leadership, the chief financial officer, Toni Williams, stepped up as interim Superintendent. Before becoming CFO of MSCS in 2019, Williams exhibited leadership prowess by assisting with the first audits after Shelby County and Memphis City Schools merged. As a result of her dedication, the MSCS Department of Finance has consistently achieved clean external audits since 2019. She successfully managed MSCS’ largest budget, which exceeded 2.2 billion and included COVID-19 relief funds. She has held the roles of CFO and interim superintendent since August 2022.
Under Williams’ leadership, MSCS has received several accolades, including the Tennessee Department of Education’s Best For All District and a U.S. Department of Education ARP Star for its stewardship of funds from the American Rescue Plan.
"I can think of no greater honor at this moment than to serve our exceptional teachers, staff, and students. During my time as superintendent, I will intentionally listen, boldly act, and remain laser-focused on the needs of our students and teachers while working collaboratively with our community,” said Superintendent Williams.
Board member Woods is Vice-President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Memphis Division. He has been a member of the Shelby County Board of Education since 2011.
As a School Board member, he represents district 4 – advocating for equity and increased opportunities for students. He was a part of monumental School Board votes from historic merger decisions to bridging the digital divide. He serves on the boards of the Memphis Parks Partnership and Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. Woods is currently overseeing the redevelopment of the 100 N. Main as it approaches a development agreement and construction.
“While I’m humbled by the recognition from MBJ, the truth is we all have power. The power to try and fail, power to speak out, and the power to make a difference in our career, classrooms, and communities. It’s the collective power of all of us working together that inspires me the most,” Woods said.
Some information has been provided courtesy of the Memphis Business Journal.