MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Joris Ray, selected as superintendent of Shelby County Schools at a board meeting Tuesday, wouldn't agree to an interview Wednesday.
So we did our own digging to find out about the man in charge.
The board unanimously voted to suspend a national search for candidates and hire Ray as the superintendent. Originally, the plan was for Ray to be interim superintendent for 18 months while the search was conducted.
Parents and staff received the news of his permanent hire in a voicemail.
"I will continue to live and operate by model: dream, stand, believe and achieve the courage and fight every single day to improve the lives of our students," Ray said in the voicemail.
According to Ray's personnel file, he's a lifelong Memphis resident who started as a Kirby Middle social studies teacher in 1996. He quickly moved up the ranks in the district. He oversaw alternative programs and then more recently became an assistant superintendent.
Ray will have to immediately tackle challenges like next year's budget while the school board negotiates his contract and salary.
Old pay stubs state he made $142,000 as the assistant superintendent and was supposed to make $285,000 as interim superintendent. It's the same salary former superintendent Dorsey Hopson received.
In Ray's State of Shelby County Schools Address in Febuary, he said his priorities were improving graduation rates and preparing more students for college.
He also said he wasn't sold on Hopson's plan to close 28 schools and build 10 more.
WREG put in a request with the district to see who else applied for the position. We will let you know when we get that information.