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Superintendent Dorsey Hopson confers with staff.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson confers with staff.

Micaela Watts

Hopson is stepping down from leading Memphis schools. What happens now?

Dorsey Hopson announced his resignation from Shelby County Schools Tuesday afternoon. But what comes immediately next for the district?

Hopson said during the press conference Tuesday that he will start his new role with Cigna after Jan. 8.

Next steps for board members include naming an interim leader and getting a superintendent search underway if they so choose. According to district policy, the final selection of a new superintendent will need to be confirmed by a two-thirds majority vote of the board.

Board chair Shante Avant said the school board expects to name an interim before the district breaks for the winter holidays, giving the panel time to seek a permanent replacement.

An obvious candidate for interim would have been Sharon Griffin, who used to run the district’s Innovation Zone under Hopson. But since she left to lead the state-run Achievement School District in June, the next most likely candidates are Chief of Finance Lin Johnson and Brad Leon, chief of strategy and performance management for the district.

In recent years, the Shelby County Schools board has rated Hopson as satisfactory, though not exemplary, and extended his contract last year to 2020 with a $16,000 raise. He now makes $285,000 a year. Next week, the board is scheduled to present its most recent evaluation of his performance.

Hopson won’t receive a severance package, according to his contract.

You can read Hopson’s contract in full below.