Interim Superintendent Joris Ray said Thursday that he would introduce a new organizational chart for Shelby County Schools staff to reference: students are at the top; Ray is at the bottom.
“I’m the least among you when it comes to importance,” said Ray, speaking at a press conference just one day after the district’s board voted to approve his contract. “Whomever sits on [the] cabinet or in our schools, we’re going to have a servant attitude. This is why we’re here.”
During his 16-minute “State of Shelby County Schools” address, given at the district’s newest specialty school for transportation science, Ray reiterated his 90-day plan that prioritizes early literacy, curbing student misbehavior, and preparing students for life after high school.
His plan includes hiring second-grade teaching assistants to help with reading, training all staff on how to spot childhood trauma, and introducing an ACT predictor exam. He also wants to add English and math coaches for high school teachers, with the goal of ensuring a high level of classroom instruction.
Specifics about how these plans will be implemented and paid for is expected next month, when the district’s proposed budget is presented to the school board.