There's a new man in charge at Memphis City Schools. Dan Ward is now the district's interim superintendent.
Ward is a retired educator and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Airforce. At his news conference Wednesday Ward was upbeat about taking over Memphis' multi million dollar school district.
Ward told the audience: "For the next several months you can expect Dan Ward to do the best job that he can for the city of Memphis."
Many Mid-Southerners will know Ward from his years with the Memphis city school system. He's held every job from teacher to principal to district superintendent.
And back in 2003 Ward was acting deputy superintendent for Dr. Carol Johnson.
"I am truly honored that I have had the opportunity to work and learn from him," said Dr. Carol Johnson.
Ward said that he will work with school staffers to continue the work that Dr. Johnson started.
Ward added, "and ah her philosophy just fits hand and glove in mine. The emphasis needs to be on academic achievement, our kids can do it I think they have shows that they can."
Even while in retirement, Ward had worked as a consultant for Memphis city schools. Now he's ready to start calling the shots for the district 119,000 students and 16,000 employees.
Ward described the board unanimous vote for him as overwhelming. "That's more than anybody can expect and ah you know it puts a tremendous burden on me to meet their trust but I'm going to do the best I can."
Ward's contract runs for six months and can be renewed three months at a time.
Last month the board voted that the interim choice for superintendent cannot be considered for the permanent job. So that search, continues.