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    Porter resigns school board post to serve as district administrator

    Jane Roberts

    Reginald Porter


    Shelby County Schools board member Reginald Porter resigned his board seat Monday to serve as chief of staff in the unified district.

    “It has been a true honor to have the opportunity to help shape the school district and serve our community as part of this board during such a historic time,” Porter, 40, said in his resignation letter Sunday to board chairman Billy Orgel.

    “I am humbled by, and grateful to, the residents in District Six for electing me, and I want to assure them (and all Shelby Countians) that I am more committed than ever to continue my service.”

    His new job begins Aug. 1. To “ensure transparency,” he is resigning before the board’s work session Tuesday night.

    Porter, currently a project manager at FedEx Corp., will earn $136,700 a year.

    In a note to district employees late Monday, interim Supt. Dorsey Hopson praised Porter as someone who has developed “key relationships” throughout the community and whose background in corporate project management will be “invaluable” to a district working through many operational changes.

    In the meantime, the Shelby County Commission, which will appoint his successor, has scheduled interviews for Aug. 14. The appointment will be announced Aug. 19, according to commission chairman Mike Ritz.

    The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Aug. 9. Porter’s successor will serve the remainder of his four-year term, which expires Aug. 31, 2016.

    Porter was among seven members elected to the board in a countywide election last summer. His resignation creates one of two possible openings. The second involves a dispute over invalid ballots in the District 4 race in which board member Kenneth Whalum narrowly lost to Kevin Woods. Whalum has asked Chancery Court to order a new election. The court has not ruled yet.

    With Porter, Hopson has 10 members in his cabinet. Pam Anstey, chief financial officer, submitted her resignation several weeks ago.

    Hopson agreed to serve as interim superintendent last winter, after former Memphis City Schools Supt. Kriner Cash resigned. When former county superintendent John Aitken resigned a short time later, Hopson agreed to temporarily serve as head of the entire district.

    In the meantime, the board postponed its superintendent search until after school started. It is unclear when it will resume. Most new superintendents appoint their own advisers.