Next Memphis schools superintendent Marie Feagins set to take over April 1


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Incoming Superintendent Marie Feagins has started working with Memphis-Shelby County Schools under a per diem agreement, allowing her to begin a transition to the superintendent role while the school board hammers out her contract.

Feagins’ temporary employment took effect March 1, according to a press release from school board Chair Althea Greene. Greene said she expects Feagins, a Detroit public school district administrator, to begin officially as MSCS superintendent on April 1, months ahead of the July 1 start that board members had targeted during the search process.

Greene said it is important for Feagins to begin work soon, especially as Tennessee’s largest school district faces major budget decisions and state lawmakers consider several changes to education policy, including a major expansion of private school vouchers that could affect district revenues.

“Dr. Feagins is excited to be here now to start making Memphis and Shelby County her home,” Greene said.

Since the board selected Feagins on Feb. 9, she has been in Memphis for several meetings, including a lunch Friday co-hosted in part by former Memphis schools Superintendent Carol Johnson-Dean.

“Everybody wants to welcome her, and they want her to be successful,” Johnson-Dean told Chalkbeat, adding that several community leaders attended, including both the city and county mayors. She said school board members did not attend.

Feagins also attended part of the Memphis school board’s February business meeting on Tuesday and received a standing ovation. A separate press release at the time said she was working on a plan for her first 100 days on the job.

But the school board has not otherwise discussed her employment in a public meeting, and board members have taken no votes on a contract.

Board members Mauricio Calvo and Stephanie Love said Friday afternoon that they had not seen the per diem contract.

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Board policy allows the district to enter contracts for some services that cost less than $75,000 without seeking a board vote. The press release did not provide details about Feagins’ pay. Chalkbeat has requested public records about the short-term contract.

Chalkbeat’s attempts to reach Feagins for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

Greene said she expects the board to take action on Feagins’ superintendent contract at a meeting scheduled for March 26.

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


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