School & District Management

Georgia District Hires Superintendent After Firing Search Firm That Found Him

By Corey Mitchell — May 21, 2015 1 min read

The Dekalb County, Ga., school system has hired R. Stephen Green as the district’s next superintendent, weeks after firing the search firm that helped attract him to the job.

On July 1, Green starts his new job leading the 99,000-student DeKalb schools, the third largest school district in Georgia and one of the 30 largest in the United States. Until then, he’ll continue to serve as superintendent in the 15,000-student Kansas City, Mo., school system where in three years’ time he brought much-needed leadership stability and academic improvement that has restored the district from its unaccredited status to much firmer footing.

The DeKalb school board picked Green from a pool of more than 100 candidates compiled by search firm ProAct. The district severed its contract with ProAct’s parent company, SUPES Academy, several weeks ago.

In the Chicago school district, SUPES Academy is dealing with a federal probe tied to no-bid contracts with a firm where Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the district’s CEO, once worked as a consultant. Byrd-Bennett is taking a paid leave of absence while the investigation continues.

Other school districts also cut ties with the firm and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, is ending its partnership in a preparation program for new schools chiefs that it runs jointly with the SUPES Academy.

Dekalb County school board chairman Melvin Johnson said he had no concerns about misconduct in the DeKalb County superintendent search, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In March, the Missouri Association of School Administrators selected Green as their 2015 Superintendent of the Year. He has led the Kansas City schools since 2012 and also has work experience in Indiana, New Jersey, and New York.

Green will succeed interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond, who has led the district since 2013.

“Dr. Green brings an impressive record to DeKalb not only from Kansas City, but also from New York, New Jersey, and Indiana. He was a stabilizing force in Kansas City and will do the same here in DeKalb County,” Johnson said.

Photo of R. Stephen Green courtesy of the Kansas City Public Schools

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.