The Education Department also contracted with Elton Stokes, who’s currently listed as an administrator in the Montgomery County School District in Maryland where Wright worked as an associate superintendent before coming to Mississippi. According to meeting minutes from January of last year, the board voted unanimously during executive session to hire Stokes as a consultant for an amount not to exceed $93,009.60. The board also voted to award one of Porter’s contracts for the same IT work the same day.
Wright said where Porter’s company focuses on IT infrastructure, Stokes is a “data warehouse guru.”
“There’s nobody inside the department that had the data warehouse skills … We advertised and advertised and advertised for that position, and no one that’s got the skill set to do it was willing to come to Mississippi,” Wright said. “… Part of your integrity as a department is the quality of data you produce.”
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