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Community panel advising MSCS on superintendent search sets first public meeting

A woman stands behind a Memphis-Shelby County Schools podium next to two men and a woman

The Memphis-Shelby County Schools board provided an update on the superintendent search process on Tuesday.

Samantha West / Chalkbeat

As the Memphis-Shelby County Schools board prepares to select a firm to head its national search for a new superintendent, a community advisory committee will hold its first public meeting this week to discuss how the board should conduct the application and interview process.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at the MSCS board auditorium, the board announced in a press release Tuesday. 

The board-appointed committee includes representatives from local advocacy groups and nonprofits such as Memphis LIFT, Bridges, Literacy Mid-South, Whitehaven Empowerment Zone, MICAH, Memphis Education Fund, and Stand for Children.

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On Tuesday, the board identified the four search firms that had applied to lead the search: They are:  Alma Advisory Group of Chicago; GR Recruiting of Fountain Hills, Arizona; Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates of Schaumburg, Illinois; and Ray and Associates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Several board members said last week that they’d like the board to vote to pick a search firm by the end of the month. The board’s next business meeting is Jan. 31. 

Board Chair Althea Greene; Kenneth Walker, the district’s general counsel and chief legal officer; and Quintin Robinson, the district’s newly appointed chief of human resources, will review the applications and recommend one search firm to the board ahead of its vote.

“We look forward to a final vote on the search team so we can move to the next step in the MSCS Super Search,” Greene said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the board also reminded the public of two remaining public input sessions. The first session, targeting the Spanish-speaking community, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Kingsbury High School. The last meeting will be held at noon Saturday at the MSCS board auditorium. The board’s online survey will also remain open until Sunday.

After the meetings, Greene said, KQ Communications, which the board hired to handle media relations for the superintendent search and host the community meetings, will compile feedback to be provided to the search firm in February.

Samantha West is a reporter for Chalkbeat Tennessee, where she covers K-12 education in Memphis. Connect with Samantha at swest@chalkbeat.org.

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