Toni Williams to remain as MSCS interim superintendent; drops from permanent race

Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 8:30 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Shelby County School board voted 6-1 to renew Interim Superintendent Toni Williams contract Tuesday, but she can no longer be candidate for the permanent job.

Last August, Williams and board members announced she was not interested in the permanent role, but Williams eventually changed her mind about applying for the permanent role months later.

Her new contract requires that she not be considered for the permanent role.

Tuesday’s business meeting was packed full of teachers, students and community members waiting to hear what the board would decide on Williams interim superintendent contract.

“From what I can see, you are a person of integrity who is genuinely concerned about the well-being of our district,” one speaker in support of Williams said.

Board members thanked Williams for her service as interim during the 2022-2023 school year and her leadership.

“I say to Toni Williams, she’s not related to me but I love her as if she is my daughter. she has been great. She has been what we need at this time, but I am reminded of what the Bible says ‘it is your own who will not receive you’,” said MSCS school board member Keith Williams. “So I am clear on that, she has agreed to do what we are going to do, we are going out and cast the net again. We’ll come back with somebody!”

Williams reviewed her time as interim this past school year and says she has no regrets applying for the permanent job.

“I can continue to serve this community I love so much. And so during that time, I am supporting the board in a way like no other,” said Williams. “There is an opportunity to serve another year and that’s my focus right now.”

Attorney Herman Morris, who negotiated the resignation of former Superintendent Joris Ray, handled Williams’ new contract.

She’ll be paid $310,000, the same amount as her previous contract, according to the board.

Her new contract expires in August 29, 2024.

“Regret? Absolutely not, not on a community that has made me a superintendent one of the few superintendents in the country that is female,” said Williams.

Interim superintendent for Memphis-Shelby County Schools Toni Williams is no longer in the running for the permanent position.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.