Superintendent Dorsey Hopson: 2016 Honoree in the category of Education
Since 2013, Dorsey E. Hopson, II has served as Superintendent of Shelby County Schools, the nation’s 14th largest school district.
He has shown his commitment to the District for the past eight years, having previously served as general counsel.
The Memphis native graduated from Whitehaven High School before earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis. In 1998, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia State University College of Law, where he ranked 12th in his graduating class.
Hopson began his legal career at a prominent Atlanta-based law firm, where he represented corporate and government clients across the country. He then served as associate general counsel and ethics officer for Atlanta Public Schools, where he represented the District in employment matters. He later served as general counsel for the Clayton County School System in Georgia. During his time as counsel for those two school districts, Hopson learned key strategies centered on increasing teacher effectiveness and gained valuable insight into the operational aspects of urban school districts.
In 2008, Hopson was named general counsel for legacy Memphis City Schools, where he managed a team of attorneys and provided legal and strategic advice to District leaders. Under Hopson’s legal counsel, Memphis City Schools was awarded a $57.4 million dollar judgment in a landmark case involving educational funding. In 2010, the District saw the largest school merger in the nation’s history, and Hopson worked diligently with state and local officials and the Shelby County Schools’ Board of Education to facilitate the merger process.
Hopson has a deep passion for both education and the law. He strongly believes every child can learn and that education is the great equalizer. He also emphasizes that the key to student achievement is to ensure every classroom has an effective teacher and every school has an effective leader. Hopson, the father of two Shelby County Schools’ students and a member of various civic and community organizations, enjoys and appreciates the opportunity to lead and serve his community.