“Very grateful for the board’s trust and confidence in me to continue leading this great school district” was the succinct, low-key description Shelby County Schools Supt. Dorsey Hopson used to acknowledge his two-year contract extension.
The Shelby County Board of Education (SCBE) approved the extension during a Special Called Business Meeting on Monday.
“Following a challenging, but historic year, the strategic goals and vision that we set forth with the board’s support presents an incredible opportunity for our students, as well as our community,” said Hopson. “We have some very hard work ahead, but I am excited and committed to seeing it through.”
School Board members said they believed it was vital to have stable leadership while the district is developing its 80/90/100 strategic plan.
“An undeniable trait of strong leadership that can never be discounted is stability,” Board Chairman Kevin Woods said. “When we take a look at the most successful organizations, they all have strong and stable leadership. That is what we are getting with Supt. Hopson. It’s an opportunity to sustain the work that was started before many of us got here.”
Hopson initially signed a three-year contract at the start of the 2013-14 school year. This extension runs through June 30, 2018.
While the contract includes no change to Hopson’s current yearly salary, the board has the option of approving bonuses based on the results of his annual performance evaluation. Hopson asked board members only to consider the option in years when teachers also receive a performance bonus.
“I recognize that effective teaching is the core of our success, and the role of teachers is directly responsible for the success of our students more so than anything I do individually as superintendent,” Hopson said. “If I am going to be rewarded for performance, it would certainly be due in large part to the performance of teachers in our classrooms.”
The contract also includes specific unilateral termination provisions, including a cap on salary payout, should the Board or Superintendent choose to terminate the contract before June 30, 2018.