Countywide school board members appointed Memphis City Schools attorney Dorsey Hopson as the interim superintendent of the Memphis City Schools system at the board’s Tuesday, Jan. 29 meeting.
The meeting was the last for Kriner Cash who becomes an advisor to the school system through the end of July under terms of his resignation after four and a half years heading the school system.
Hopson begins his tenure as interim superintendent Feb. 1 and the posting ends July 1.
Meanwhile, the board also set July 1 as the effective date of the transfer of Memphis City Schools into the Shelby County Schools system – the merger date.
Administrators from both school systems recommended the date because it is the start of the new fiscal year.
Some board members had a problem with setting the date without all of the merger plans in place. Others thought it should align with the school calendar for the first year of the merger which the school board also approved Tuesday evening.
But most agreed the merger start date of July 1 is necessary for the switch to a single budget for what are now two separate school systems governed by a single board.
Classes in the consolidated countywide school system for the 2013-2014 school year will begin Aug. 5.
But the board had an extended debate over a move by school board member Joe Clayton to change the name of the late December-early January break in classes from “winter break” to “Christmas break.”
The board voted down the amendment, but in a compromise approved a change to “holiday break.”
The board chose Hopson over Dr. Roderick Richmond, chief of school operations for Memphis City Schools.
School board member Martavius Jones nominated Richmond after board member Chris Caldwell nominated Hopson.
Hopson said he has no plans to pursue the superintendent’s job beyond the interim tenure.
“I have no desire to do this long term,” he said again after the board approved his appointment.
Richmond indicated he intends to be an applicant in the superintendent search process that is expected to pick the merger superintendent by mid February.
Jones asked Cash whom he would pick. Cash did not offer a choice.
In other action, the school approved a renewal of the charter of the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering after voting down a recommendation from the MCS administration not to renew the charter school’s contract.
And the board approved the demolition of the old Lincoln Junior High School gymnasium in South Memphis.