Search firm names 2 more contenders for Memphis superintendent

A woman with long dark hair and sunglasses on her head speaks into a microphone. She is wearing black clothes.

In addition to its current two finalists for Memphis-Shelby County Schools superintendent, the outside search firm has given the school board two more names.

The additional top contenders are Angela Whitelaw, the Memphis district’s deputy superintendent of academics, and Keith Miles Jr., the current superintendent of Bridgeton Public Schools in New Jersey

Whitelaw and Miles were among the top candidates based on Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates’ evaluations, according to an email sent to board members Tuesday afternoon that Chalkbeat obtained.

Board members have yet to decide their next steps in the search, such as whether they will expand the finalist pool.

The board will meet Tuesday evening for a regularly scheduled work session, its first meeting since the search firm announced three finalists Saturday. That meeting was derailed as board members questioned the search process and results, which yielded finalists Brenda Cassellius, recently of Boston Public Schools; Carlton Jenkins, of Wisconsin’s Madison Metropolitan School District; and Toni Williams, the current interim superintendent of MSCS.

Cassellius has since withdrawn from the search

After the meeting adjourned Saturday, the Memphis-Shelby County Schools board said it was postponing plans to interview the finalists until the board members received the names of all 34 applicants.

In response, the search firm gave applicants a Monday afternoon deadline to stay in the search or withdraw, according to an email obtained by Chalkbeat.

McGee shared the people who still want to be considered with the board members Tuesday. Those people are: 

  • Alexis Gwin-Millyer
  • Alisha Kiner
  • Anson Smith
  • Antwan Wilson
  • Art Stellar
  • Bernard Taylor
  • Cedrick Gray
  • Cynthia Gentry
  • Darrell Williams
  • Derrick Jones Lopez
  • Donald Boyd
  • Eric Henderson
  • Lee Buddy
  • Morcease Beasley
  • Reginald Wilson
  • Roderick Richmond
  • Stephen Bournes
  • Tameka Henderson
  • Terry Ross
  • Tonya Biles
  • Vallerie Cave
  • Vincent Hunter

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Laura Testino covers Memphis-Shelby County Schools for Chalkbeat Tennessee. Reach Laura at

The Latest

The district is still working to shorten bus rides for more than 100 students with disabilities to comply with state law.

Lee’s plan seeks to eliminate income requirements and change who could benefit.

With initiatives targeted at specific schools, neighborhoods, or family needs, they’re chipping away at a problem that has long undermined efforts to improve student achievement.

The statistics illustrating the depth of the youth mental health crisis are sobering. We want to hear from you to better understand it.

A coalition called Every School Day Counts has been at it since 2012.

During a recent lesson at a Grand Junction preschool that receives state funding, children were taught what sin is, and how God feels about sinners.