Okolona eyes second choice for school post

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

OKOLONA – Dr. Jerry Woods has told the Okolona School Board he will not take the district’s top post, prompting trustees to schedule a meeting with their second choice on Monday.
Woods was offered the job of superintendent Sunday afternoon following a community interview and vote by the school board.
Dexter Green, a principal with Tunica County Schools and a 23-year veteran educator, is the apparent second choice. Dr. Debra Dace, also with Tunica County Schools was also one of the three finalists presented to the public Sunday.
“We have accepted Dr. Woods’ decision and the full board will meet with Mr. Green Monday about this situation,” said Okolona School Board Vice President William Bailey. “Dr. Woods had more experience as a superintendent, but we felt like Mr. Green was more approachable. He has also had a lot of success at Tunica.”
Bailey said Woods declined the job for personal reasons. The Okolona district went into conservatorship in February 2010 due to poor academic rankings and financial instability. The school board was dissolved and the superintendent’s 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, Bailey, 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 Friday he was “still very interested in the position,” but felt commenting on the situation at this time was inappropriate. He said 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.
Green received his Master’s of Education from Jackson State University and has been a principal at Dundee Elementary School for the past 10 years.
floyd.ingram@journalinc.com