Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson is resigning from the district.
Many had speculated Dorsey was the top candidate for the Tennessee State Education Commission position after he endorsed now Governor-elect Bill Lee. But Hopson says he is leaving for a new position with Cigna Insurance, a private sector position. The resignation is effective January 8, 2019.
SCS sent the following news release regarding Hopson’s resignation:
Calling the last six years the “most rewarding years” of his career, Dorsey Hopson today announced that he will soon be ending his tenure as Shelby County Schools’ top educator.
“For the past six years, we have worked together to guide this great school district through monumental changes, including a merger, demerger, school closures and a state takeover of some schools,” said Hopson. “Through it all, our educators and supporters have remained committed to aggressively increasing student achievement. “
Acknowledging that there is still much more work to be done, Hopson called out various points of progress made in collaboration with the District’s board, educators, parents, volunteers, community and government leaders, faith-based partners and students.
Hopson’s departure comes just weeks after being selected one of nine finalists for the Green Garner Award, the highest award given to Urban Superintendents by the Council of Great City Schools. And it’s just days after being named the West Tennessee Supervisor of the Year.
“We have accomplished a great deal together, such as eliminating a $100 million dollar deficit, investing more in students and developing the Summer Learning Academy to prevent summer learning loss. That, in part, is what makes this decision so difficult,” said Hopson. “I would love to see this work to the finish line, but I feel confident that we have laid a strong foundation for the next leader of Shelby County Schools.”
Hopson will begin a job in the private sector in January 2019 saying it was an extremely difficult decision but one that will afford him more time with his family. In addition, he said he now looks forward to supporting Shelby County Schools as an involved parent and community member.
Hopson began his tenure as Superintendent of Shelby County Schools in January 2013 following the departures of Superintendents Kriner Cash (legacy Memphis City Schools) and John Aitken (legacy Shelby County Schools). Hopson, who previously served as General Counsel of Memphis City Schools, was elected by the then merged 23-person Board of Commissioners.
Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of the Memphis Lift, issued a statement in response to Hopson’s resignation:
“Parents should be part of the conversations about who will lead our schools next. Too many of our kids are still trapped in failing schools and being left behind, so our next superintendent has to be willing to work with parents to do better for our kids.”