Interim superintendent gets extension - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Interim superintendent gets extension

Friday was supposed to be his last day on the job, but tonight Action News 5 has learned Interim Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dan Ward has agreed to extend his contract.

Now the search is on for a permanent replacement.

Dan Ward came out of retirement after Superintendent Carol Johnson took a job in Boston last August. But after six months, and no solid candidates, the district is turning to a professional firm for help

Memphis City School Board Commissioner Martavius Jones is confident the rash of recent school violence in the media will not run off worthy superintendent candidates.

"I think any urban school superintendent will know that the issues they face in Memphis are not going to be unique in Memphis, they're going to be  the same across the country," Jones said.

But, it has been six months and there is no replacement.

Leap Day was supposed to be Interim Superintendent Dan Ward's last day.

"There's a three-month extension for Mr. Ward," Jones said.

Jones said the superintendent search committee is working aggressively.

"We set a goal that on July 1st, that's the beginning of the fiscal year, the next fiscal year, that we will have someone named and in place before that time," Jones said.

They have now hired a consulting firm that specializes in superintendent searches named Ray and Associates. They are out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

After a nationwide search, it comes down to who the board picks.

School Board Commissioner Kenneth Whalum, Junior caught flack when he said he wanted a young African American male to run the district.

But Jones said it is about longevity with most superintendents across the country only staying in one place an average of three years.

"I want someone who is going to stay with Memphis City Schools.  I believe that consistency, continuity, and stability are important for any school district," Jones said.

Tuesday, the search committee will have it's first meeting with Taylor and Associates.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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