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Restructuring of Shelby County Schools aims to make central office “hub” for school services

J. Zubrzycki

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II has restructured the central office of Shelby County Schools, he announced this week.

Three assistant superintendents will replace a system of regional superintendents. While regional superintendents had been responsible for clusters of schools in a given geographic area, the new associate superintendents will be responsible for schools, school operations, and academic programs respectively.

The district previewed the changes earlier this summer.

“My vision is that the central office becomes a hub for services for schools,” Hopson told board members at their monthly meeting Tuesday. “The way the department had been organized is somewhat outdated. It’s not the best service model.

The reorganization means that more decisions about academic programs will be made at the school level, according to the superintendent.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Hopson announced that Cynthia Alexander-Mitchell will be the district’s new associate superintendent for its academic office, and Angela Whitelaw is the new associate superintendent of schools. Whitelaw and Alexander-Mitchell are both former principals who had both worked as Instructional Leadership Directors.

The district is still searching for a permanent chief academic officer. That position has been vacant since June.

Hopson said he continues to consult with Carole Johnson, former Memphis City Schools superintendent who retired two years ago from running Boston’s public schools, to help develop the new structure.

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