(Memphis) At a school board meeting Tuesday night, commissioners voted to appoint their general counsel, Dorsey Hopson, as the interim superintendent of Memphis City Schools until the merger takes place.
Dr. Kriner Cash will finish his duties as superintendent on Jan. 31, to become an adviser to the district.
Hopson will serve as interim superintendent from Feb. 1 to June 30.
In a statement released by Memphis City Schools, Hopson said, “I am humbled and honored that the Board has placed such trust and confidence in me.”
“I will work to ensure that the students of Memphis City Schools continue the strong academic gains they have demonstrated over the last year. I will also focus on winding down the Memphis City Schools’ operations and assisting Superintendent John Aitken as he leads the merger process. I thank the Board of Education for this opportunity and look forward to serving the Board and our community,” he said.
Hopson was nominated by Commissioner Chris Caldwell, who cited Hopson’s familiarity with policies in many departments within the district. Caldwell said Hopson has represented the district well in the past.
When asked whether there might be conflict of interest in Hopson serving as both general counsel and interim superintendent, Caldwell clarified that as general counsel, Hopson reports to the board.
The only possible point of conflict would be in negotiating his salary, and in any hypothetical action between the board and the superintendent. Caldwell said that outside counsel could be brought in for the purpose of salary negotiation, and that Hopson’s legal staff would be able to handle the work load while he takes on superintendent duties.
The issue of Hopson’s pay was not discussed Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for Memphis City Schools said that there would not be any conflict of interest. He said that while salary for Hopson has not been determined, Hopson will not have a driver the way Dr. Cash did.
Hopson, a native Memphian, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Memphis and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Georgia State University College of Law in 1998 where he ranked number 12 in his class.
Since 2008, Hopson has served as general counsel for MCS. Prior to joining MCS, Hopson served as assistant general counsel and interim general counsel for the Atlanta Public Schools, and as general counsel for Clayton County Public Schools in Jonesboro, GA.