Come Aug. 1, Dr. Kriner Cash no longer will be associated with Memphis City Schools. Cash, who has served as superintendent since July 1, 2008, resigned Thursday night.
The move by Cash came at a special board meeting. The Shelby County Board of Education accepted his resignation, which has him two-stepping into his final departure. Cash will man an advisory position through July 31. The severance package includes pay equal to six months of his regular salary. Also included is $17,000 for moving expenses.
"It has been the pinnacle of my professional career to lead and serve the children of Memphis City Schools," Cash said in a prepared statement. "The most crucial period of the historic merger of MCS and SCS is in front of us now. These decisions require strong, experienced 'the buck stops here' leadership."
Memphis and Shelby County Schools are transitioning through a merger that calls for the districts to operate as a unified system at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
Shelby County Schools Supt. John Aitken now has the lead role in the merger of the two districts.
Cash said he was "proud, impressed and comforted to know that the joint staffs are working extraordinarily well together and are well-prepared to meet the challenges ahead. My sincerest wishes are for an equal, equitable and world class education for all children of the newly merged District."
The Board offered its gratitude to Dr. Cash for his work, service and accomplishments.
"Dr. Cash has played an integral role in moving Memphis City Schools in a positive direction during his tenure and has put our community on notice that we must close the achievement gap that exists in our community," said Board Chairman William Orgel in a written statement from the Shelby County School Board.
"We greatly appreciate Dr. Cash's leadership and commitment to educating all our children."
Dr. Cash has made significant contributions to the school district and to the Greater Memphis Community, the statement from the board noted.
"In addition to improving academic achievement, under Dr. Cash's leadership, nine of eleven operations departments have earned national recognition for performance excellence. Moreover, Memphis City Schools has been recognized as one of the top urban reform school districts in the country."
According to the Shelby Couty Board of Education statement, Dr. Cash has determined that he would like to pursue other professional opportunities. Those opportunities include "accelerating the success of students at all levels of schooling and the elimination of inequities within our country's education system."