New leader chosen for Okolona schools

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

OKOLONA – 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 17, Woods accepted that job but the next day told the board he would not take the post.
“We felt Mr. Green had a strong four-point plan to better our schools, he has good people skills and he has had success with both curriculum and moving schools forward,” said Dr. Jerome Smith, President of the Okolona School Board. “The vote to hire him was unanimous.”
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 ten days ago.
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 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.