Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TOP STORY >> Ex-PCSSD boss dies

Charles Hopson, 54, former superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District, died Tuesday, according to an e-mail from Carole Smith, superintendent of the Portland (Oregon) School District.

Hopson was serving as school-improvement officer for high schools at the Houston Independent School District. Details are incomplete, but he apparently died after an illness, according to Deborah Roush, PCSSD communications director. Roush said she confirmed the death with Hopson’s family.

His brother, Timothy Hopson, is assistant principal at North Pulaski High School.

Hopson was deputy superintendent of Portland Public Schools, where he worked for two decades before his 2010 departure to become superintendent of the troubled PCSSD.

Smith said, “Charles was a strong and thoughtful leader with a deep commitment to equity and the betterment of all students. I am keeping in my mind today his warm and ready smile.”

Roush said, “He was very much respected as a quiet leader. He was a man of wisdom with a calming personality. He hired good people and trusted them to do their jobs.”

PCSSD was placed into fiscal distress in July 2011 and state Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell dissolved the PCSSD school board and, acting in its stead, fired Hopson.