David Roper has had a varied career in education, working his way from a school psychologist all the way up to administrative assistant at Birmingham City Schools. As the first superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, he believes his experience working in a high poverty background will help him address some of the financial challenges Millington will face that the other five municipal school districts will not.

Of the six new municipal superintendents Roper is the only one who didn’t come from legacy Shelby County Schools, which he says has made it a steeper learning curve for him, but has also given him a more neutral objective position for things such as hiring.

Thousands of students participated in Academic Bowl for Birmingham City Schools, a successful program in an urban district that Roper coordinated and says was one of the highlights of his career.

Millingon has less money coming in and it serves are disproportionately more low income students than the other five municipal districts, but Roper believes his background with Birmingham has prepared him.

Millington didn’t receive a fair proportion of resources when it was part of Shelby County Schools, according to what Roper has heard from locals, and that’s why residents wanted to form their own district.

Several hundred students from out of district will attend Millington Municipal Schools this year, which Roper says is a reflection of the quality that parents expect and which will help solidify the district’s finances.

One of the biggest challenges to forming a new district is that a lot of things have to be approved by the lawyers, according to Roper. Millington overran its budget this year for legal fees.