/Tulsa school chief tapped to lead Jackson Public Schools

Tulsa school chief tapped to lead Jackson Public Schools

Nonprofit Mississippi News The Jackson Public School District has chosen a new leader after months of debate. The Board of Trustees approved Tuesday a resolution to name ErrickGreene the new superintendent. He will replace interim leader Freddrick Murray. Greene is the chief of schools at Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma. He also previously worked in Inglewood, Baltimore and Detroit. Greene was also a principal for 10 years and then an instructional superintendent at the District of Columbia Public Schools. Jeanne Middleton Hairston, board president, stated that she was confident that Greene has the experience and skills as well as the dispositions, and the heart and courage to join us in this endeavor. After the appointment paperwork is mailed to the Mississippi Department of Education, the confirmation will not be made official. This allows officials to verify that Greene meets the state requirements to serve in public school superintendent. Hairston stated that if all goes according to plan, Greene will be in Jackson in September. Greene defeated Kenneth Simington (deputy superintendent of Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools District in North Carolina) and Dana Bedden (chief executive officer of Bedden and Associates, Richmond, Va.). Greene will be approved by MDE and takes over the position during an important time. The district is currently trying to clear itself from a scathing auditor that found JPS in violation 24 of 32 state accreditation standards last summer. The audit nearly led to a state-wide takeover but the City of Jackson, W.K. was chosen instead. Kellogg Foundation and Gov. Phil Bryant’s Office unveiled the Better Together Commission. This partnership was created to address district issues in this year’s fiscal year. Before a decision was made, Senator Sollie Norwood, D.Jackson, urged members to wait until next summer before naming a superintendent at the school board meeting. He said that bringing in a new leader after the school year had already started would cause disruption to students and staff. Norwood stated that Jackson Public Schools is “probably one of our greatest chances to get it right.” “If we fail this year unfortunately, I think it will be a nail in the coffin.” McPherson Jacobson, a Nebraska search firm, was paid $24,900 by the district to manage the search. The contract guarantees that the district’s new superintendent will stay with them for at least two more years. Hairston stated that all board members used the information from search consultants to make their decisions. Then, we probed deeper and did more research. We feel positive about Greene’s work in Tulsa. Although the board did not meet the July 1 deadline for a new leader, board members sought an opinion from the attorney General’s office in order to review the final three candidates. This was to make sure they were qualified to fill the position as required by state law. After Cedrick Gray’s resignation in 2016, Murray was appointed interim superintendent. Gray was paid $195,000 on a contract worth $205,000 at the time he resigned. Murray took over as interim superintendent. After the MDE approves the appointment paperwork, Hairston stated that the board would negotiate a salary with Greene. Murray’s contract was extended beyond July 1st, but originally listed him at $200,000 per year. District officials and school board members stated that they wanted to include the community in decision-making during the process. Michelle Henry, a parent of JPS, felt that the process was inclusive. Henry also participated in the interview panels. The three candidates traveled to Jackson in June for interviews with the board as well as different groups. Henry was part the interview panel made up of parents. Henry was also part of the panel of parents who interviewed the candidates. Henry is vice president of middle school division at the Jackson Council PTA.