Dr. Joris Ray steps down as superintendent of Memphis-Shelby County Schools – FOX13 News Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dr. Joris Ray has resigned as superintendent of Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS), Herman Morris said during a Memphis-Shelby County Schools meeting Tuesday evening.

Morris, who was hired by MSCS to investigate the allegations against Ray, presented the resolution that would terminate Ray’s employment with the school district to the MSCS Board around 7 p.m.

READ MORE: MSCS school board launches investigation into Superintendent Joris Ray

The Memphis-Shelby County School Board voted to accept the resignation of Dr. Ray, 8-0-1, with one board member abstaining.

Dr. Ray initiated this arrangement and brought it to Morris.

The Memphis-Shelby County School Board accepted Ray’s resignation with eight board members voting in favor and one abstaining, officially beginning the search for his replacement and mutually agreeing to sever ties.

At a news conference following the meeting, it was announced that an interim superintendent was to be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Operations and Finance, Dr. John Baker, and Assistant Superintendent of Schools and Academic Support, Dr. Angela Whitelaw, will continue to serve as superintendents.

The board had initially announced Tuesday’s special meeting to vote on whether to keep or fire Ray.

When his letter of resignation was presented Tuesday, the board accepted, removing Ray as superintendent, ending the investigation into him, and thus freeing him from any disciplinary action that investigation might have led to.

That investigation has been concluded, never having been completed, according to the agreement between Ray and the Memphis-Shelby County School Board. That now-completed but incomplete investigation cost about $19,000, according to figures given at the press conference immediately after Ray’s resignation.

Dr. Ray will receive a severance package worth approximately $480,000 over 18 months.

In July, MSCS held an emergency executive session after divorce papers revealed Ray was accused of having affairs outside of his marriage with potential former and current school district employees. The board decided that an outside review of Ray’s allegations of impropriety was necessary.

Ray said he had retained legal counsel and was confident his private actions had not “breached any rules of conduct or violated any policies.”

Ray’s wife filed for divorce last year. In the documents, Ray’s wife revealed a non-disclosure agreement in one of the relationships. He alleged that district staff arranged and participated in meetings with women for Ray outside of his marriage. MSCS has employed at least two of the women named in the court documents over the past five years.

As a result of the July meeting, Ray was placed on paid administrative leave while two independent attorneys, former U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton and former MLGW attorney Herman Morris, investigated the allegations against him.

Following the news of Ray’s resignation, the former superintendent of Memphis-Shelby County Schools released the following statement.

“During my tenure as superintendent, we succeeded through one of the most challenging times in education history. The COVID-19 pandemic created difficulties that threatened the institution of conventional learning. However, with the strong community support, we catapulted MSCS into the national spotlight as a district breaking down barriers inside and outside the classroom. Thank you for believing in my leadership. Thank you for believing in the abilities of our students. Memphis County Schools- Shelby have my sincere wishes. We made a commitment to restore our district to TVAAS Tier 5 status. Despite staggering odds, we accomplished that goal. Our students are now on an upward path to growth and continuous achievement that naysayers or distractions can’t derail. Together, WE MUST BELIEVE. Together, WE WILL MAKE IT. Together, we’re REIMAGINING the 901!”

Dr Ray then tweeted, thanking people for their support during his tenure.

I cannot 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.

THANK YOU for believing in my leadership. THANK YOU for believing in our students. pic.twitter.com/i1o6RN0C8D

— Dr. Joris M. Ray (@SCSSuptRay) August 24, 2022


Parents react when Dr. Joris Ray is leaving school in a few weeks

Dr. Joris Ray is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues

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