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SCS school board suspends superintendent search, moves forward with Dr. Ray

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County School Board has voted unanimously to end the national search for a superintendent and will move forward with Dr. Joris Ray.

In a released statement the school district said, " We look forward to a bright future of continued success and hard work under his leadership."

Supporters for Dr. Ray gave the school board a standing ovation for their vote to name him the permanent superintendent.

"I'm just so honored tonight. I'm from this community. I love this community."

But outside of the district office, some people expressed their disappointment. "We're fed up. That's why we're blowing this whistle," a parent said.

Members of Memphis Lift, a large network of parents and others concerned about the school system, are disappointed with the vote. They say they wanted a nationwide superintendent search.

"They didn't hear from no community, because if they had heard from the community, we are the community," Memphis Lift member Sarah Carpenter said.

Dr. Ray starts his permanent tenure as a superintendent after two rocky weeks that revealed he'd been the subject of two separate investigations. One looked into alleged sexual harassment. The other involved allegations of misuse of school funds.

He was cleared on both accounts.

"I cooperated fully with the investigation. Now it's time to move forward."

Dr. Joris Ray took the interim superintendent position in December 2018.

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