Shelby County School Board Votes 8-0 to Fire Teli White

Shelby County School Board Votes 8-0 to Fire Teli White

Teli White was suspended indefinitely by Shelby County Schools on June 21, now almost seven months later, the school system has terminated his employment as a teacher and coach as the Shelby County School Board voted 8-0 to fire him, although White can appeal.

Also at the board meeting, chief investigator Ed Stanton III who was hired by Shelby County Schools to look into “academic misconduct” at Trezevant high school told the board that his investigation found that at least 53 Trezevant students who shouldn’t have graduated were indeed given diplomas.

Former Trezevant principal Ronnie Macklin found discrepancies in grade transcripts for 131 students last September and reported his findings to Shelby County Schools.

“The majority of the individuals or people whose grades were changed were not athletes,” Stanton said. “There are some concerns that this could be going on at other places.”

Stanton’s team also recommended that “Shelby County Schools should pass policies to make sure teachers are not pressured to pass students who are failing classes.”

“There is substantial evidence of systemic academic improprieties at Trezevant High School from 2012-2016,” the report prepared by Stanton and colleagues said. “Investigators found what appears to be a systemic pattern of changing failing grades to passing grades without requiring the students to repeat the courses they failed.”

Shelby County Schools posted the full report at

If White’s appeal is unsuccessful, it would end one of the most successful runs in Shelby County history as White led Trezevant to four state title games winning back to back Class 2A state titles in 2015 and 2016 and finished as the 4A runner up in 2010 and 2014 as White complied a 91-38 record at Trezevant.

White was hired at Melrose last March but never coached a game for the Golden Wildcats as Ronald Davis is the new head coach at Melrose.

White didn’t respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

So if Trezevant won the 2A state titles with players that were academically ineligible, could there be punishment from the TSSAA?

“We are still in the process of reviewing the findings and plan to contact the SCS administration and the investigating firm again. The findings do not mention TSSAA academic violations. They state that football players’ grades were altered with the intent to establish eligibility for participation in NCAA collegiate sports which we already knew,” TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said.

Read’s investigative report from July here:

Contact Donovan at and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew



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