Memphis-Shelby County Superintendent Resigns Amid Investigation

Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) Superintendent says he will resign from his post amid controversy that led to an external investigation.

Dr. Joris Ray said he would resign after the full nine-member school board met in July with investigator Herman Morris, who was contracted to look into allegations that Ray had extra-marital affairs with employees of the school district.

“It is with a heavy heart that I submit a formal resignation from my position as superintendent after coming to a mutual agreement with the School Board,” Ray said. “Please accept my sincerest gratitude for your abiding support.”

Reflecting on his 25 years in the position, he said he was “deeply grateful to have had the honor to lead the very school district where I was nurtured and educated by loving and compassionate teachers.”

He continued, noting that the district “triumphed during one of the most difficult times in the history of education.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic induced immense difficulties that threatened the institution of conventional learning,” said Ray. “Yet, with your steadfast support of my leadership, we catapulted MSCS into the national spotlight as a district breaking barriers inside the classroom and in the community.”

Ray shared his formal resignation on Twitter.

“I can’t begin to quantify the many, many small but powerful acts of devotion and commitment shown by my cabinet, administrators, instructional leaders, principals, teachers, and support staff,” Ray said on Twitter, announcing his resignation. “THANK YOU for believing in my leadership. THANK YOU for believing in our students.”

Part of the agreement related to Ray’s resignation is the termination of the school district’s ongoing investigation into his conduct.

The school board will reportedly wait until its new members are seated in September before it decides on hiring a new leader.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Joris Ray” by Joris Ray. 


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