Information Regarding the Resignation of Superintendent Cory Uselton From His Elected DCS Superintendent Position and His Immediate Reappointment As Our DeSoto County Schools Superintendent
There seems to be some questions in the county about Superintendent Cory Uselton and his recent resignation as our current elected superintendent and his immediate reappointment by the DCS school board as our newly appointed superintendent. I am writing this post to clear up any confusion or questions that may exist, regarding this situation.
Some time after Superintendent Uselton was elected, the MS legislature passed a law that would make all MS superintendents appointed by their local school boards instead of elected by the people. The new appointed superintendent law also allows school districts to appoint a superintendent who does not reside within the school district area, county or state. This part of the law gave school districts statewide more options, especially for those counties or districts that have an incredibly small pool of candidates to choose from. With that being said though, it also made certain school district superintendents in the state a hot commodity, Superintendent Uselton being one of those people. This leads me to the main questions people have been asking me.
Why was Superintendent Uselton appointed before the end of his elected term, and why wasn’t more publicized about this prior to the board actually taking action on the issue?
The answer is simple and far from being any secretive deal made from behind the scenes with a hidden agenda behind it.
Some of the top school districts in the state, as well as other educational institutions, made it clear that they had interest in offering Mr. Uselton a position within their district or area as their superintendent (or otherwise) and making more money than he currently makes as our DCS superintendent. If our school board wanted to keep Mr. Uselton as our DCS superintendent, they needed to make that decision now, instead of waiting on his elected term to expire. They needed to give Mr. Uselton reassurance that he is secure in his position as our DeSoto County Schools Superintendent. And, thankfully, Mr. Uselton loves our county and our school district. Regardless of offers made, he wants to be here, but before the DCS school board could appoint Mr. Uselton and secure this new contract with him, he had to ‘officially’ resign as the elected superintendent. His actual elected term would not have expired until next year. Mr. Uselton’s resignation was simply a matter of formality so that the school board could legally and officially appoint him as DeSoto County’s appointed superintendent.
Our school board is not the only school board in the state, making these decisions before the end of their superintendent’s elected term. If a school district didn’t want to lose their current superintendent, it was in their best interest to make those decisions now and plan accordingly.
In fact, school board members, throughout the state, were advised by legal counsel to go ahead and make contractual arrangements with their current superintendents, if the district planned on reappointing him/her at the end of his or her term. That’s what our DCS school board did.
As for the publicizing of this decision, I can’t answer that. I don’t handle communications for DCS, but I will say this. All of our school board meetings can be live-streamed now on the district’s website. If you can’t watch live, you can always go to the district website and view the archives of the meetings. The videos, meeting minutes and agendas are all online now on the DCS website for anyone to see. I encourage all of you to review the meetings, especially if there are issues that you are concerned about.
I hope this sheds some light onto this matter for you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me or contact your school board member.
– Heather Fox