Woods decides not to take Okolona superintendent job

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 the board to meet with their second choice on Monday.

Woods was offered the job of Superintendent of the Okolona School District Sunday afternoon following a community interview and vote by the Okolona 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 finalist 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.

Green said Friday 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.

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, 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.