Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

MSCS Superintendent finalist drops out, 2 more finalists announced including new internal prospect

 Jackson Brown

Brenda Cassellius removed herself as a candidate for the role Tuesday, the MSCS School Board announced.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dr. Brenda Cassellius has withdrawn her name from the MSCS Superintendent search, MSCS School Board Chair Althea Green announced Tuesday.

Cassellius was named as one of three original finalists for the role Saturday by the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, alongside Carlton Jenkins and MSCS Interim Superintendent Toni Williams.

With the news of Cassellius’ departure, two new finalists were announced; Keith Miles Jr. and MSCS Deputy Superintendent Angela Whitelaw.

Miles Jr. is the superintendent of Bridgeton Public Schools in Bridgeton, New Jersey, a role he’s held since 2020. Previous to that, he was on the Trenton Board of Education and the assistant superintendent at Trenton Public Schools in Trenton, New Jersey.

Dr. Angela Whitelaw has been the deputy superintendent of schools and academic support at MSCS.

Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates said 34 people applied to the job in total, and 21 were advanced to interviews and background checks.

26 of the 34 applicants’ names were released Tuesday.

Brenda Casselius was most recently the superintendent of Boston Public Schools for three years, and was the statewide education commissioner in Minnesota before that.

She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Memphis in 2007, and has background with MSCS, leading the district’s middle schools from 2004 to 2007.

The MSCS Board questioned the decisions of the search firm, namely wondering why they did not disclose the search rubric to the Board before the finalist announcement.

“Our board had some concerns with the finalists who were proposed by HYA and its process for selection, so we are taking a step back. HYA will contact all candidates and ensure they are willing to remain in the process, then we will publicly release the list for full transparency,” said Althea Greene, MSCS Board Chair. “While we believe all of the proposed finalists are viable, we must have a level of confidence that they are truly the best for this critical role.”

The public finalist interviews, scheduled for April 21 and 22, have been canceled until the finalists can be confirmed by the board.

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