Aitken's next stop: suburban district? - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Aitken's next stop: suburban district?

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Many of those at a parent input meeting on the unified district's superintendent search, held in Germantown Thursday, were confident municipal districts would materialize eventually.

"We will have our own school system," said parent Suzanne Walls.

Walls has two kids in school and another who will be.

She said there would be no more perfect leader than now former Shelby County Schools Superintendent John Aitken.

"I feel like Mr. Aitken was the one thing we had going for the whole district," said Walls.

The school board agreed to buy out Aitken's contract Tuesday night to the tune of $323,000.  It's a process he initiated.

"I think that will be up to John what he wants to do next," said Germantown school board member-elect Ken Hoover. "I'm sure for most of the municipalities he's built a tremendous reputation. He's well known and well loved in the area."

Hoover believes the superintendent search should have begun and ended with Aitken.

"And at the end of the day you have to acknowledge that consolidated board never embraced him and never gave him their vote of confidence," said Hoover.

But the unified district's loss could be a suburban city's gain.

"Should the legislative process allow for Collierville to form a municipal school district, John Aitken would be a candidate who could provide outstanding leadership and vision to our newly formed municipal school system," said Collierville spokesman Mark Heuberger.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald agreed.

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