Memphis-Shelby County Schools picks new academic, security leaders

Shelby County Schools logo, SCS surrounded by a white circle, enclosed by a blue circle reading “Shelby County Schools.”
The changes include two new assistant superintendents and a new deputy chief of security position. (Chalkbeat file)

Memphis-Shelby County Schools officials on Monday appointed two new assistant superintendents and filled a new security position as a part of the district’s ongoing academic restructuring and leadership reorganization.

The two new assistant superintendents will oversee academics at the middle and high school levels, splitting duties that were previously handled by the chief of schools. That position has been vacant since Antonio Burt left MSCS in November to head the KIPP Memphis public charter school network.

“In order to effectively provide targeted support, it is necessary to narrow the focus for grade bands,” MSCS Superintendent Joris Ray said in a Monday news release. “I am confident that our ongoing academic restructuring strategies will accelerate and sustain student success.”

Docia Generette-Walker (Courtesy of Memphis-Shelby County Schools)

Monday’s announcement comes weeks after the district announced that employees at Hamilton and Kingsbury high schools and Airways Achievement Academy would have to reapply for their jobs as part of what the district calls a “fresh start” process to reevaluate school culture and climate.

The new assistant superintendent for high schools is Docia Generette-Walker, an MSCS veteran and former Middle College High School principal, who most recently was the district’s director of college, career, and technical education, according to the news release. In 2016, Generette-Walker was named the Tennessee Department of Education’s state principal of the year. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University, and a master’s degree from Jackson State University.

Daniel Jack (Courtesy of Memphis-Shelby County Schools)

Overseeing the middle schools will be another MSCS veteran, Daniel Jack. Jack was most recently the principal of Ridgeway Middle School, and represents West Tennessee for the Tennessee Principals Association, according to the release. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University and a master’s degree from Christian Brothers University.

Filling the new deputy chief of security position is Greg Sanders, who joined MSCS in 2019 after serving the Memphis Police Department for 29 years. In his most recent position as the district’s director of safety, Sanders implemented new intervention and prevention strategies for students experiencing social and emotional trauma, violent aggressive behavior and gang involvement.

Greg Sanders (Courtesy of Memphis-Shelby County Schools)

In his new role, Sanders will provide extra support to the district’s Department of Safety and Security, now led by Carolyn Jackson, interim chief of safety and security. Jackson, who was executive director of the department, assumed the safety chief role after Gerald Darling retired in January. The district has yet to announce a permanent replacement for Darling, or announce a search.

Samantha West is a reporter for Chalkbeat Tennessee, where she covers K-12 education in Memphis. Connect with Samantha at swest@chalkbeat.org.

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