Superintendent resignsSpecial to the Peacemaker / December 11, 2015
Share this article:After seven-plus years at the helm of Guilford County Schools (GCS), Maurice O. “Mo” Green resigned Tuesday evening as superintendent to lead assume leadership of the Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Foundation in Winston-Salem.
Green made the announcement at the close of the Guilford County Board of Education meeting this evening. While details are still being worked out with the school board, Green said he expects the transition to occur sometime this coming spring.
Since joining GCS in September of 2008, Green has worked to emphasize academic achievement, character development and organizational performance in the public school system. As a result, high school graduation rates in GCS have risen from 79.7 percent in 2008 to 89.3 percent in 2015. Nine schools posted perfect (100 percent) graduation rates in 2015, while 10 other high schools posted graduation rates of 90 percent or higher.
Gaps in the high school graduation rates between student subgroups also decreased. In 2015, for example, African American students posted a high school graduation rate of 88 percent, leaving only 4.7 percentage points separate the graduation rates of white and African-American students in GCS. Graduation rates for Latino students also continue to climb, increasing from 68.8 percent in 2008 to 84.6 percent in 2015.
Under Green’s leadership, GCS students have improved their performance on the ACT college entrance exams, earned more industry-standard certifications and tackled more challenging academics. For example, more than one-third (37 percent) of 2015 graduating seniors left GCS having successfully completed one or more college-level classes.
Since 2008, dozens of GCS schools have earned a variety of state and national recognitions for promising practices in character education or have been named Schools of Character.
Green also created the district’s first (and second) strategic plan, helped raise in excess of $40 million in private funding, helped secure more than $50 million in competitive state and federal grants, and was a driving force in Guilford County being named the first Say Yes to Education community outside of the Northeast.
Green also used private donations to help open two new early/middle colleges (The STEM Early College at North Carolina A&T State University and the Middle College at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), launched Guilford Parent Academy, started a Freedom School for homeless children, piloted one-to-one technology at Montlieu Academy, creates the innovative middle school called Allen Jay Preparatory Academy and hired Teach for America program participants for GCS schools highly impacted by poverty.
“This is a great loss for GCS but a win for the state and for public education,” said Alan Duncan, school board chairman. “The fact that this highly respected foundation chose our superintendent as its next leader is a reflection of the respect and regard Mo has garnered statewide and nationally.”
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunities GCS has afforded me,” said Green. “I have always revered educators and I’m pleased my new role will allow me to continue to support the good work of our educators and our public schools throughout North Carolina.”
The school board plans to discuss Green’s transition at a Board meeting on Dec. 17. Next steps include appointing an interim superintendent, reassigning job duties as needed, planning the search process for a new superintendent, and ensuring a smooth leadership transition.