Aitken Expected to Speak Before Board about Buyout

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(Memphis) Shelby County Superintendent John Aitken has been considered a steady leader during a very tumultuous and changing time as the schools merged, but he dropped a bombshell last week when he said he may want out.

Kevin’s Woods is a member of the superintendent search committee and says they want Aitken to stay, and be considered for the job.

“It`s John`s job to lose.  I think John is the defacto superintendent.  He`s leading the merger process and he`s doing a great job.  Let`s face it he`s loved by many in the suburbs and those in Memphis,” said Woods.

Now that Aitken’s attorney has approached the board about a buyout they must figure out what to do next.

His contract isn`t over until 2015 and he makes around $200,000 a year.

Woods says board members don`t want a long drawn-out fight over the buyout.

Since MCS superintendent Kriner Cash left Aitken has been serving as the leader of schools undertaking the largest school merger in us history.

“The board voted to support a search process and I think John could have seen this process through and could have very well been the choice to lead the merged district,” said Woods.

Board members like Betty Mallott say the search could be making Aitken feel the board doesn’t have confidence in him.

Woods says they had no choice but to launch that search because there were two superintendents at the time, one from MCS and one from Shelby County.

“What I think you will hear from John tonight in moving forward is that if he`s made the decision to move on it`s much bigger than the search. This is tough work.  In my short time on the board I can tell you it takes a toll on you and it takes a toll on your family,” said Woods.