Community advocacy groups request input on MSCS superintendent selection

Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 8:13 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several Memphis advocacy groups asked to be involved in the search for the next Memphis Shelby County Schools superintendent.

The groups will hold a joint press conference Thursday to address the school board.

These groups, including Memphis for All, Stand for Children and more, say last Saturday’s candidate reveal showed them there’s a lack of integrity in the search process and they’re asking the board to allow the MSCS Community Advisory Committee to be a part of this process and create the “community super search plan.”

Last Saturday, the search firm hired by MSCS revealed three finalists out of 34 candidates for superintendent including Interim Superintendent Toni Williams, Brenda Cassillius of Minnesota, and Carlton Jenkins of Madison Wisconsin.

Cassillius and Jenkins both served as superintendents in other districts and have a background in teaching and administration.

The firm identified Interim Superintendent Williams as a “non-traditional” candidate, saying despite her lack of teaching background she was still qualified, but the board disagreed.

“I’m completely disappointed, completely disappointed. You and I had one-on-one conversations. I was very straightforward with what I expected in this process,” said Sheleah Harris, MSCS Vice-Chair. Since then, Cassillius has dropped out of the race, and 4 new finalists were revealed.”

Miles has dropped out of the running as well.

Board members say they are really just getting started as they’re now able to see the criteria and become a little more a part of this process.

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