Okolona names Green superintendent

CJ-0327-OKO-Super-G-2COKOLONA – Trustees hired Dexter Green as the new superintendent of Okolona School District at a special called meeting Monday.

Green is expected to fill the superintendent’s post on April 1 and will be the district’s first superintendent since it was placed under state control more than three years ago.

Okolona trustees had voted to hire Dr. Jerry Woods on March 16, Woods accepted that job but the next day told the board he would not take the post.

Green, a principal with Tunica County Schools and a 23-year veteran educator, Dr. Debra Dace, also with Tunica County Schools, along with Woods were the three finalists for the post was also one of the three finalist presented to the public Sunday.

Green is noted for taking a poor performing elementary school and helping them earn both state and national academic honors. Green had also touted his ability to bring people together during his interview.

The Okolona district went into conservatorship in February 2010 due to poor academic rankings and financial instability. The school board was dissolved and the superintendents’ post vacated when a state conservator was named.

The district came out from under state sanctions last summer. A five-member school board made up of Dr. Jerome Smith, William Bailey, Nancy Sullivan, Sara L. Jenkins and William “Bill” Stewart was seated in December. Trustees have repeatedly said selecting a new superintendent was their top priority.

Green said had said last week he was “still very interested in the position,” but felt commenting on the situation at this time was inappropriate. He did say he will meet with the Okolona School Board on Monday.

The district had nine applicants for superintendent and pared that list to three. Sunday’s public forum saw each of the three finalist asked a series of five questions.

Green said Sunday his first 100 days would be used to work with the staff to develop a five-year plan for the district.

“I feel the key to effective teaching involves four things,” said Green. “Teachers need a lesson plan, they need to manage their classes, they must effectively deliver instruction, and then there needs to be assessment of what is happening in the classroom.”

Green said teachers must be held accountable for what happens in their classroom. He said administrators and the central office need to give teachers the tools and support they need to do their job.

While principal at Dundee Elementary School in Tunica County, the school was one of 12 in the state to receive the prestigious “Closing the Achievement Gap Award” for outstanding achievement in 2007.

Dundee Elementary received the PREPS Added Value School Award in 2005 and 2007. The award is presented to high performing schools in Mississippi

Dundee Elementary is ranked 130 out of 432 elementary schools throughout the state of Mississippi according to schooldigger.com reports.

Green received his Masters of Education from Jackson State University and has been a principal at Dundee Elementary for the past 10 years.

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