SCS Supt. Hopson reacts to promotion - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SCS Supt. Hopson reacts to promotion

(WMC-TV) - A unanimous vote by the Shelby County School Board of Education took Dorsey Hopson from interim to permanent superintendent.

Hopson said he remained humbled and honored by the vote. The former Memphis City Schools board attorney guided both districts through the merger this year, which included a number of highly publicized hiccups.

"This is the hardest job I've ever had in my life. It's a lot of work, but it's so important," said Hopson.

Board member David Pickler, an adversary in pre-consolidation days, made the motion to give Hopson the permanent job.

"He's proven in the toughest of battles he's able to lead and succeed," said Pickler.

Board member Kevin Woods said Hopson is committed to the children's education.

The board voted Tuesday to officially cancel the superintendent search it previously suspended after a firm failed to find viable candidates.

"I do support a national search at some point in time," said board member Teresa Jones. "I just don't think now or the next few years is the appropriate time."

The board and Hopson are looking for stability, especially with financial concerns, evolving leadership, and the pending formation of municipal districts.

Many parents seem happy Hopson agreed to take on the state's largest school district. 

"I think the more important thing is someone who is able to understand where the real alligators are in the swamp and be able to avoid them, and he's done a great job of that," said resident Eddie Settles.

Hopson says being an attorney helps him analyze and articulate varying view points.
 
"Given the complexity of where we are now, that's a skill set that's necessary," he said. "I've served as general counsel for three school districts. Two in the Atlanta area and then here is Shelby County. I also represented other school districts in private practice throughout the country."

Hopson's entire career has been in education; he says many school districts are run by attorneys.

And after six months as interim superintendent, Hopson is known as a consensus builder.

"Consider the importance of what we're doing.  It would just be irresponsible to not continue," he said. 

The board will still need to vote on a final contract with Hopson, including his salary. 
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