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DeKalb superintendent finalist: He can shake a leg. Can he shake up a system?

What’s the thinking thus far on DeKalb’s choice to replace Michael Thurmond? R. Stephen Green certainly has the education background that Thurmond lacked.

As the AJC reported:

R. Stephen Green, the superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools, is expected to take over the top job for the DeKalb County School District, according to more than one person with knowledge of the search.

Green is currently in the middle of a five-year contract with Kansas City, which includes a three-year contract and two one-year extensions that would keep him there until June 2018. He started with the district in August 2011 as interim superintendent. He took the job permanently in 2012.

Here is Green’s official bio:

R. Stephen Green, Ed.D., was named superintendent of schools of Kansas City Public Schools by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors in April 2012. At that time, KCPS was unaccredited by the state of Missouri. Under Dr. Green’s leadership, KCPS earned 92.5 points towards the state of Missouri's school achievement standards in 2014. That was 8.5 points more than the what the school district earned in 2013, and a 54.5-point leap from the 2012 results. In August 2014, Missouri's Board of Education recognized the gains made by the school district by granting KCPS provisional accreditation.

R. Stephen Green

Green received a Bachelor of Science in English Literature and Composition and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Ball State University and his Principal’s Certification from Butler University. He received a doctorate degree from Indiana University in 1995 with two majors: curriculum and instruction and education administration; and an honorary doctorate from Northwest Missouri State University.

Green is the former president and CEO of Kauffman Scholars, Inc., an access and graduation program aimed significantly at increasing the number of college graduates from Kansas City’s urban schools. Kauffman Scholars is a comprehensive academic enrichment and scholarship program that provides coordinated, intensive, tutoring and life skills support to students beginning in middle school and continuing through the college years.

Before joining Kauffman Scholars, Green was the Superintendent of Community School District #28 and a Local Instructional Superintendent in Region 3 for the New York City Board of Education. In this role, he provided instructional leadership and support to the 34 schools in the district, and worked with a team of school administrators to ensure instructional improvement among the 142 schools in the region.

Green also served as the President and Executive Director of the New Jersey Teaching and Learning Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization founded to provide ongoing technical assistance, high quality curriculum-driven professional development, and advocacy for local and state policy reform – all toward the goal of improving teaching and learning in New Jersey's districts.

As the National Executive Director of the CollegeEd Program for the College Board, Green’s leadership focused on helping middle school students understand the importance of a college education and exploring the options available. He has served as the National Executive Director of School-Level Services, as the National Director of the Pacesetter Program, and as Associate Director for Pacesetter Planning and Development for the College Board. He also served as Assistant Superintendent, as High School Assistant Principal, and as Middle School Assistant Principal for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indiana. He taught high school and college-level English literature and composition for 13 years at Pike High School, Indiana University, and Butler University. He has served as the Director of Minority of Student Affairs at Butler University and as an Instructional Superintendent for the New York City Board of Education.

As this video shows, Dr. Green is not afraid to shake a leg. The question for DeKalb is whether he will be willing to shake up the status quo. His exuberance in this video reminds me of APS school chief Meria Carstarphen who clearly loves being with students.




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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.