Jackson, MS -- The Jackson Public Schools' Board of Trustees in Mississippi did not offer a superintendent contract to finalist Dr. Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for Operations at the Newton County School System.
The Mississippi school board voted Tuesday after meeting in executive session, approving fellow finalist, Cedrick Gray, superintendent of schools for Fayette County, Tenn., according to Peggy Hampton, director of Media Relations at JPS.
Some board members had visited Newton County on Monday, after previously visiting the hometown of Gray.
Hampton said Tuesday that the board members offered no explanation about the decision. She did say that two of the seven board members, Dr. Otha Burton and Tim Collins, voted against the selection.
The two finalists were chosen from a pool of 71 applicants using a national search firm, Ray and Associates. Earlier this month, the two finalists visited Jackson to meet with the board and community members.
NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews had recommended Carpenter for the position.
When contacted by the Citizen about the decision, Carpenter responded that he had no comment.
JPS has 30,000 students, compared to about 19,000 in NCSS. It's made up of eight high schools, 12 middle schools, 39 elementary schools and two special schools.
Carpenter was hired as associate superintendent for Human Resources at NCSS in February 2008 after working as assistant superintendent for Support Services for Appling County Schools and a fourth-grade teacher, assistant principal and principal before that. He was named deputy superintendent for Operations in July 2009, when Deborah Robertson retired as associate superintendent of business and administration; he oversees the directors of Operational Services, Human Resources and Support Services, as well as the business manager, maintenance coordinator and School Nutrition Program coordinator.
In July 2011, Carpenter also was not chosen for the superintendent position at Peach County Schools, where he was one of three finalists.