SCS approves four-year contract with Superintendent Joris Ray

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools approved a four-year contract with Superintendent Joris Ray at a meeting Tuesday night, the district reported.

Ray will make $285,000 a year, is eligible for raises and is provided a vehicle, according to the contract. The salary is the same amount former Superintendent Dorsey Hopson was paid at the time of his departure to work in the private sector last year.

Ray was chosen as interim superintendent in December. In April the SCS board called off a search and named him superintendent.

A release from SCS said the contract highlights Ray’s “momentous outcomes during his first 90 days.”

“That’s a lot of money, but if he’s doing the work, get paid to do the work,” Memphis Lift Executive Director Sarah Carpenter said.

Initially her organization was critical of Ray’s placement, saying a national search was needed. A few months later, she says it’s time to work together.

Parents have high hopes as they look to the new school year.

“I hope he’s more personal with the kids. I hope the teachers are more personal, that they take more time out with him,” a parent said.

Ray was previously chief of academic operations and school support for the district. Before that, he served as assistant superintendent and a teacher.

On Wednesday, Ray named Patrice Williamson-Thomas as the chief of staff for Shelby County Schools. She currently serves as Shelby County’s chief administrative officer where she oversees the day-to-day operations of county government.

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