MSCS names Tutonial “Toni” Williams interim superintendent

·2 min read

Tutonial “Toni” Williams will lead Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) as Tennessee’s largest school district searches for a new superintendent.

Williams was named the interim superintendent at a Memphis-Shelby County Schools board meeting Tuesday evening.

RELATED: Dr. Joris Ray steps down as Memphis-Shelby County Schools superintendent

During the meeting, there were no other names thrown into the mix when it came to choosing the next interim superintendent, and the school board made it clear that this is a temporary position as the national search for the permanent superintendent begins.

The nomination came from District 2 board member Althea Green, and she cited some of the accomplishments of Williams, including graduating from the district and serving as chief financial officer since 2019. Green said in this role, Williams helped develop the district’s largest historic budget of $2.2 billion.

Williams had remarks of her own, saying she’s a graduate from Whitehaven High School, and she plans to keep academic performance and business operations at the top of her priority list.

“I am a product of this district, so I’m having a humbling moment right now to serve the district that has truly served me, poured into me as a student. I am committed to serving the board and supporting the board and leading through this moment,” Williams said in a brief statement to the media following the appointment.

Williams will temporarily take over the place of former superintendent Dr. Joris Ray who tenured his resignation from the school district less than a week ago, on August 24, amid an investigation against him.

During Williams’ nomination, it was emphasized that the board wanted to nominate someone for the interim position who did not want the full-time job of superintendent.

The vote to accept her as interim superintendent passed unanimously.

Her nomination as interim superintendent came as a result of an investigation into former superintendent Dr. Ray after allegations arose that Ray had extramarital affairs with current and former MSCS employees.

RELATED: Why is Dr. Joris Ray leaving Memphis-Shelby County Schools with $480K?

The MSCS board voted to accept Ray’s resignation, ending the investigation into him in the process without the investigation ever having been completed.

Prior to being named interim superintendent, Williams served MSCS as Chief Financial Officer.

RELATED: Joris Ray could receive more money for services to MSCS outside of severance pay

A timeline to find Dr. Ray’s permanent replacement has not been announced, though at the time of Dr. Ray’s resignation on August 24, a spokesperson for the MSCS board said they hoped to announce a successor to Dr. Ray in a matter of weeks.

When FOX13 asked board chair Michelle McKissack if there’s any plan to move Williams to that permanent superintendent role, she said no, and they’re adamant that they’re sticking to a national search.

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