He might have been the right choice at the right time.
But Dr. Kriner Cash, the former superintendent of Memphis City Schools, is now the odd man out when it comes to a leadership role in the future of a unified school system.
Still, his legacy remains one that could be debated for years.
MORE: Board unanimously approves Cash's severance
When Dr. Cash took over as MCS superintendent in the summer of 2008 he immediately established there was a "new sheriff in town" on the educational front. Over the years he proved to be a lightning rod that attracted various descriptions running the gamut from arrogant to innovative.
However, it was with a sense of melancholia, members of the Unified School Board accepted Dr. Cash's resignation Thursday evening, which won't officially take effect until July.
In announcing a negotiated settlement Dr. Cash will receive six months severance pay based on his regular salary (nearly $140,000) in addition to $17,000 in moving expenses and legal fees.
But, as he fills out the rest of his obligation in the role of an advisor to the merged school systems in 2013 the debate begins over how his tenure will be viewed in terms of accomplishments and disappointments.
There were plenty of both.
But, in true statesmen. like fashion Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell spoke in measured tones about the legacy Dr. Cash will leave behind.
"Right now we know we're going to have a unified school system in August and we've got to focus on a singular leader and move forward to that point," Mayor Luttrell said. "But, I think we'll always look back on Kriner Cash as being a man of intelligence, vision, innovation and certainly wish him the best as he moves forward."
"He really put us on the map at the right time," added Mayor Wharton. "It's too early to tell precisely, ultimately what will come of Race to The Top and the Gates Funding. But, never, never, never has a city received that much funding for what I think is the most important function of government education and he was at the heart of all of that."
Dr. Cash has been a candidate for two superintendents jobs in the last year but failed to get either position.