SCS superintendent gets contract extension

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County School board members have unanimously approved a two-year contract extension for Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

Hopson is still in the first year of as three-year deal. The extension keeps Hopson at SCS through June 2018.

"An undeniable trait of strong leadership that can never be discounted is stability," Board Chairman Kevin Woods said. "When we take a look at the most successful organizations, they all have strong and stable leadership. That is what we are getting with Superintendent Hopson. It's an opportunity to sustain the work that was started before many of us got here."

Last September, Hopson was signed a new contract worth $269,000.

Hopson will earn the same salary, though the district has gotten smaller due to new municipal schools.

School board members will have the option of issuing bonuses.

Although Hopson has faced angry parents, closed schools, cut jobs, and cancelled classes, board members extended his contract Monday night.

"You have taken SCS to a bare bones, cut throat level and we have witnessed this."

An outside company said Hopson scored very strongly for a first-year superintendent.

"We needed the continuity of creating a plan to move us to academic achievement."

Board members say Hopson's academic plan is just now coming into focus. This extension ensure he'll be here to see it through.

But academics are the reason why some say he shouldn't stick around. Hopson's a lawyer, not a teacher.

"Mr. Hopson, esquire, did a great job with the merger and demerger because they were legal issues, but this isn't a John Grisham movie."

"We must have an educator now that we've done all the cutting."

But many others felt his calm presence and local ties are a good fit, and board members say his leadership outweighs classroom experience.

"Superintendent Hopson is not perfect, mistakes were made, but if I had been fired over every mistake, I'd have been fired over 4,000 times in my career."

"I was one of those people who came with no education experience and most of what I do has little or nothing to do with student achievement."


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