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Public is invited to meet MSCS' top three superintendent finalists during Saturday announcement

School board member Amber Huett-Garcia said the event Saturday will be open to the public and parents are invited to come down to meet the contenders.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Saturday, April 15 will be the day that the short list of finalists in Memphis-Shelby County School's search for a superintendent will be revealed to the public. 

The school system announced via Twitter that the public will be able to watch this announcement online at MSCSsupersearch.com.

School board member Amber Huett-Garcia said Tuesday that the top three finalists would be named. She said the event Saturday will be open to the public and parents are invited to come down to meet the contenders.

In March, MSCS asked the public to submit questions to this website for the final interviews leading to filling the position. MSCS didn't guarantee that every question will be submitted, but stated that they will at least look at the questions and use them for guidance.  

The final interviews will also be open to the public and MSCS is asking the public to attend them, whether in person or virtually. 

They also encouraged emailing board members with feedback and impressions of these final candidates.

MSCS' timeline for picking the new superintendent is as follows:

  • April 21: first finalist interview session (community-wide), student-centered session (Student Congress only)
  • April 22: second finalist interview session (community-wide)
  • End of April/Early May: Superintendent is selected

During these interview sessions, MSCS states that the board will interview each candidate for 45 minutes to an hour for each meeting. They say to "come prepared to spend that full time with them." Three candidates would constitute a three-hour meeting.

Each day is said to have different categories of questions. The sessions will be held at the Shelby County Board of Education meetings at 160 S. Hollywood Street. 

Some of the potential question topics are as follows: 

  •      Urgency
  •      Purchasing power
  •      Innovation & operational efficiency
  •      Political & Community relations
  •      Business collaboration & engagement
  •      Transparency, metrics & accountability
  •      Challenges facing students today
  •      Vision for the district and its place within the city
  •      Role of the district and how its current iteration is
  •      How they view leadership, what that looks like, and their role as a leader
  •      Parent engagement

So far, interim superintendent Toni Williams is the only applicant to be publicly named. 

Williams submitting her application for the position drew mixed reactions as previous statements from the MSCS school board communicated that she was not interested in the more permanent job.    

Williams spoke for the first time since news of her application became public, saying she wants to continue the progress she's made at MSCS:

"I desire to continue serving the community every day, working to increase student achievement, and being accountable to our district. In my first four months as Interim Superintendent, I have begun to restore trust within the district and the community. During this period, I have redirected $31 million of federal & state funds directly to school leaders to support the unique needs of each school, proactively retained specialists to consult on risk assessments, procurement, and improving internal controls."

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