The superintendent of Shelby County Schools is stepping down after six years at the job. Dorsey Hopson is resigning from running the state’s largest school district.
He’s not headed to a post in Governor-Elect Lee’s administration, either. Instead, he is going into the private sector and Cigna Insurance.
Hopson’s last day will be January 8, 2019. Before that date, the school board will name an interim superintendent.
“For the past six years, this has been rewarding but very, very strenuous work, and at times it’s taken a huge toll on my family,” said Hopson.
Hopson says that’s the main reason he is stepping down as superintendent at one of the largest school districts in the country.
Hopson says he thought about leaving last year but the timing wasn’t right, and now it is.
“I can walk away knowing this district is in much better shape than when I started, but I also know we have a long way to go,” said Hopson.
Hopson grew up in Memphis and graduated from Whitehaven High School. He began with Memphis City Schools, leading its legal department in 2008. Hopson helped MCS merge with Shelby County Schools.
Superintendent Hopson says he oversaw the elimination of a $100 million deficit and helped develop summer learning academy. The graduation rate is up, failing schools have turned around, and new schools are being built in the inner city.
“By no means is this the same district I took the helm of 6 years ago. There’s plenty of work to do, but I’m proud of the progress we have made together,” said Hopson. “I would love to see this work to the finish line, but I feel confident we have laid a strong foundation for the next leader of the SCS.”
“I’m sad to see Dorsey leave. He has been a great leader for the school system,” said SCS board Member Scott McCormick.
“Where we are today is a lot better than where we were when he was first named the superintendent,” said board member Stephanie Love.
Hopson makes $285,000 per year.
The school board plans to have an interim superintendent named by January 8, 2019. Once an interim superintendent is named, the board will begin searching for a new superintendent. They hope to have someone in place by next fall.