“Once in a lifetime opportunity” led to superintendent’s decision

Kansas City Public School Superintendent R. Stephen Green (left) explains why he is leaving Kansas City for a job in Georgia.

Kansas City Public School Superintendent R. Stephen Green (left) explains why he is leaving Kansas City for a job in Georgia.

Kansas City School District Superintendent Stephen Green explained yesterday why he has resigned from his position, saying his new job offered a unique set of circumstances that he could not pass up.

Word leaked out yesterday that Green is leaving Kansas City to become the Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent with DeKalb County School District in Georgia.

“I love the work here. I love the city,” Green said at a press conference last evening. But when a search firm approached him and asked him to apply for the position in Georgia, he couldn’t resist.


“It had to do with children and grandchildren,” he explained. Green said two of his four children live in the DeKalb County area and so do three of his four grandchildren.

Green insisted, however, that he is leaving the Kansas City district in a good position and that he does not think his resignation will set back the district’s efforts to gain full accreditation. He also said his choice to leave had nothing to do with wanting to get away from either the school district or the school board; it was strictly about he and his wife getting closer to their family.

Faced with questions about what he would say to community members and parents, Green said the district is clearly on an upward climb. He said the stability of the district lies in the infrastructure, and the infrastructure is in place  to keep moving forward in a positive direction.

Asked by a reporter what he would say to teachers who have believed in him, Green, clearly emotional, said, “I would say to those teachers, you can do this. I just helped you believe in yourselves.”

Mayor Sly James said he’s grateful for the work the superintendent has done in Kansas City.

“While I’m saddened by Dr. Green’s departure, I am thankful for the tireless and courageous service he gave to the students of Kansas City Public Schools. He put the needs of students first. He gave his heart and soul to increase the quality of education for students in our city. For all that, I’m deeply grateful,” the mayor said.

KCPS Board of Directors Chair Jon Hile said the board is forming a search committee to “ensure the next leader is every bit as successful as Dr. Green.”

“Kansas City Public Schools greatly appreciates the contributions Dr. Green has made toward improving the educational experiences of the 15,000 children in our district,” Hile said. “The administration’s focused efforts, under Dr. Green’s leadership, have garnered attention and praise from Kansas City parents, community and civic leaders, education officials and state and local elected officials. He is leaving KCPS in better condition than when he joined us and we will continue to rise.”

Hile said the school board and administration will develop a transition plan as quickly as possible to begin recruiting a new superintendent.

Green plans to stay in his position at KCPS until the end of his current contract, through June 2015.

The district will provide updates on the transition process on its website at www.kcpublicschools.org/Transition.

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