Memphis-Shelby County School Official Under Investigation

According to recent reports, the Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS)’ chief of human resources is under investigation by the school district, though the school district has not released an official reason for that investigation.

Dr. Yolanda Martin is the subject of the current scrutiny.

“The District investigates all employee complaints as we continue our on-going efforts to emphasize integrity in all MSCS functions,” MSCS reportedly said. “As we follow our outlined process in this matter, ensuring that children have the best education and experience possible remains our North Star.”

On her LinkedIn page, Martin says she is responsible for “the overall talent management, operations, and strategy for more than 14,200 employees.” The school district serves more than 113,000 students.

Martin has worked in human resources for the school district since 2019.

News of the investigation comes on the heels of news that MSCS Deputy Superintendent of Strategic Operations, Dr. John Barker, had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

According to Fox13, the school sent an internal email to staff which about Barker’s suspension, which said the following:

MSCS family,

This evening, you may hear reports regarding Dr. John Barker, Deputy Superintendent of Strategic Operations for Memphis-Shelby County Schools. In MSCS, we have processes in place to ensure the integrity of all district functions.

Dr. Barker has been placed on paid administrative leave due to an employee complaint and pending review. The District investigates all complaints lodged against employees and cannot comment further about an ongoing investigation.

Until the investigation is resolved, MSCS Chief of Staff, Patrice Williams Thomas, will provide continued leadership of the operational functions. We certainly regret any disruption this news may cause. While the review is underway, I hope that you will join me in remaining focused on our main goal which is expanding opportunities and academic gains for students.


Tutonial “Toni” Williams
Interim Superintendent and CFO
Memphis-Shelby County Schools

There is no word on whether the investigations are related.

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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 “Yolanda Martin” by Dr. Yolanda Martin.


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6 Thoughts to “Memphis-Shelby County School Official Under Investigation”

  1. Randy

    Money is no object when it comes to funding failed academic administration. Once these two are gone (or reassigned) the superintendent will be telling the school board they need more money to fix the problem they created. Our feckless elected officials will blindly oblige.

  2. Rodney Smyrna

    I can only imagine what student life is like in the MSCS. The High Schools are likely war zones of urban-like tribalism.

  3. nicky wicks

    big surprise, memphis is a cesspool of corruption

  4. Susan

    “..for more than 14,200 employees.” The school district serves more than 113,000 students.”

    So you’re saying MSCS has an adult to child ratio of 1 adult for every eight students?

    1. aries9899

      Susan, that is such a great observation.

  5. aries9899

    Wow, this is such a shocker. Memphis/Shelby county? The more shocking news would be that the Memphis/Shelby county school system had no corruption found.