The East Tallahatchie School District Board of Trustees has a new president and is poised to have a new superintendent before fall, according to reports from two recent school board meetings.
Education District 8 Trustee Raymond Radcliff on Monday confirmed that he was elected president during the first school board meeting of the month, on Jan. 4.
Radcliff succeeds ED 9 Trustee Darrell Neal, who had served as president since January 2018.
When board members at the Jan. 4 meeting marked a paper ballot to designate their choices for school board leadership this calendar year, Neal and Radcliff tied for president, said Radcliff, who added that he won a subsequent voice vote, 3-2.
Board members voted to keep ED 6 Trustee Lincoln “Buddy” Smith as vice president and ED 7 Trustee Tameka McIntyre as board secretary, Radcliff noted.
ETSD Superintendent Dr. Darron Edwards, 52, announced Jan. 4 that he would not be returning to the school district when his contract expires on June 30, Radcliff said, adding that Edwards submitted his formal letter during a special called school board meeting on Jan. 21.
New ED 10 Trustee Bryant Watson made the motion to accept Edwards’ letter, with McIntyre seconding the motion, said Radcliff, who noted that the motion carried 4-1, with Neal dissenting.
Edwards has held the district’s top administrative post since July 1, 2018. He became the first African American to be selected as ETSD superintendent.
Edwards’ initial two-year deal, paying an annual base salary of $121,000, segued into a third year for 2020-21.
Radcliff said the question of how to select Edwards’ successor will be a matter on the agenda for the Feb. 11 regular board meeting.
“We’re going to have to do a superintendent search, whether on our own or have someone like the Mississippi School Boards Association do it,” Radcliff noted.
The MSBA offers a “Superintendent Search Service,” for a fee.
In either case, the local school board would make the final determination on a hire.
“We’re going to discuss it at the next board meeting to see which route we’re going to take,” said Radcliff.