Aitken leaves education window open - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Aitken leaves education window open

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Former Shelby County School Superintendent John Aitken took his name out of consideration to lead the Unified School system.

He could have taken his $300,000 buyout a long time ago, but he wanted the top job. A week after Aitken said goodbye, he appears to be just as supportive of the merger process, and without a doubt he is still one of the biggest cheerleaders for all children getting a great education.

MORE: Board approves buyout of Superintendent Aitken

For the first time he seems to leave the window open, to going back into education.

"Everybody knows I'm a college basketball nut," he said. "March Madness, so my resting has been in front of the TV. It has been pretty good. Disappointed the Tigers didn't play better, but still proud. My wife is from Ole Miss, and my oldest son is from Ole Miss."

When watching basketball is how he rests, you know a lot about a man like Aitken, a 30-year veteran of the Shelby County Schools system. He was a coach, a principal, and rose to become leader of the system. Then the superintendent of the year in 2012 for the State of Tennessee.

On social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, he is much appreciated. People who posted to his Facebook page called him a "positive influence," "best principal ever," "in 42 years of working, you are by far the best superintendent ever," "you dusted the cobwebs in the lobby to prepare for opening of school."

Remembering these voices got the best of him when he recently announced his departure from the school district.

In the wake of his departure, Aitken granted three interviews about why he left the school system.

Click the video to hear more of the 1 one 1 with Aitken and FOX13 News from the Ben Hooks Memphis Library.

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