Following a search that has lasted almost a year, Jackson Public Schools has narrowed down the field of possible superintendents to two men. From 71 applicants, the board selected Dennis L. Carpenter and Cedrick Gray as finalists for the position.
Carpenter is the deputy superintendent for operations for the Newton County School System in Georgia. He has also worked as the district's associate superintendent for human resources.
He earned his bachelor's degree in early childhood education at Georgia Southern University and his master of education degree in administration and supervision from Augusta State University. Carpenter also has an educational specialist degree in educational leadership and a doctorate of education degree in educational administration, both from Georgia Southern University.
He and his wife, LaQuanda Carpenter, have an 8-month-old son, Drake.
Gray is the superintendent of Fayette County schools in Tennessee. He has been a principal in two Memphis schools and worked in professional development in Memphis.
He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Memphis and his educational specialist and doctorate degrees from Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
Gray is an associate minister at his church. He lives in Oakland, Tenn., with his wife, Karen, and has one child.
Dr. Jayne Sargent is the acting superintendent.
On April 11, JPS will hold a public forum with the candidates from 6-8 p.m. at Galloway Elementary School (186 Idlewild St.). For information contact the school at 601-960-5313.