Suburbs Could Consider Aitken for Leader

(Memphis) Now that John Aitken is no longer superintendent of Shelby County Schools, the popular leader is a hot commodity for possible municipal districts.

The state legislature could soon pass a law allowing the suburbs to start their own districts, and they could ask Aitken to lead them.

Aitken is leaving the school district after tearfully saying goodbye to his school district Tuesday.

Shelby County’s suburbs are biting at the bit to start their own schools and now that Aitken is available this could create a feeding frenzy of suburbs wanting him to be their school leader.

Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman says anyone would want him.

“I think it’s a no brainer, anyone would be excited to consider him and other members from Shelby County and or Memphis who have expertise,” said Wissman.

Wissman says it’s not as simple as just saying we want you as superintendent.

First, Arlington, Germantown, or whoever else is interested must approve muni schools again if the state law is approved.

Wissman expects that would happen this summer and school boards will be elected in the fall.

Each suburban school board will then decide who they want to ask to be superintendent.

Aitken tells News Channel 3 he is considering his options about what to do next.

Unified Board member Chris Caldwell thinks the suburbs will be interested.

“He certainly has popularity there and I guess he would be on everybody’s radar,” said Caldwell.

With decades of experience Aitken could also serve in an advisory role, as a consultant helping the municipal schools set up or the existing unified schools operate.

“John Aitken was kind of the rope that was kind of keeping the old Shelby county schools holding on and I think a lot of people feel it’s gone now.  Even though it will have the name Shelby County schools it feels like so much has left,” said Wissman.

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