What’s next for JPS amid superintendent’s resignation?

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With the announcement that Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray is on his way out, many are wondering what’s next for the school district.

The Murrah High School Alumni Association is already talking about what they want in the next superintendent.

“As JPS alumni and part of the community, we failed our kids because we haven’t been on watch.”

Outside of Murrah High School, Sharon Sims recalls her days as a Mustang.

But she’s not just reliving her days at the high school, she’s looking ahead to what she believes the school and district could be.

“We have so many individuals who are eager to give back and in so many different ways and not just those who are here in Jackson, Mississippi or in the surrounding area, but, we have individuals from afar,” said Sims.

Sims founded the Murrah High School Alumni Association in 2014; partly because of things she saw happening in the district.

This year, we’ve seen Jackson Public Schools audited by the Mississippi State Department of Education, and just days ago, the district got an F rating.

On Friday, October 28, 2016, Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray announced his resignation.

“Actually my response and the response of quite a few other individuals in the alumni association was a bit of relief. We’ve been looking for something different in terms of Jackson Public Schools and we hopefully, from this juncture, will be able to get something different in terms of administration,” said Sims.

WJTV reached out to all seven JPS board members to see if they had any comment on Gray’s resignation and what they will look for in a new superintendent.

Only JPS Board President Beneta Burt responded;

she said by phone, that she’s never been through this process but expects the board to name an interim superintendent and then to form a search committee for a new leader.

Dr. Burt says she’s looking for someone who can delegate and get things done through other people.

“The board is going to have to do some soul searching and heart searching to get the right person in here,” said Sims.

Sims hopes that the next JPS leader has a creative approach to communicating with parents and that he or she will accept help from alums.

“In addition to creativity were also looking for some transparency and we’re looking for some partnerships. As an alumni, we are very interested and have a vested interest in our alma mater,” said Sims.

A JPS board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, 2016 and we do expect more discussion about Dr. Gray’s resignation at that meeting.


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