Mary Brown, Kalanya Moore

Greenwood-Leflore School Board member Dr. Kalanya Moore, right, congratulates Dr. Mary Brown on being hired as the superintendent for the Greenwood-Leflore School District on Wednesday. Brown is currently the director of curriculum and instruction for the Greenwood School District.

The Greenwood-Leflore School Board hired Dr. Mary Brown as the first superintendent of the consolidated school district.

The board voted 3-1 for Brown during a special called meeting Wednesday. Board member Antwoine Williams was absent from the meeting, and board Vice President and Secretary Samantha Milton was opposed.

“I’m going to work as hard as I can for the kids,” Brown said. “I do believe I have the support of the school board.”

Brown is the Greenwood School District’s director of curriculum and instruction.

Explaining her opposition to Brown, Milton said, “It just wasn’t the vision I had for the school district.” She declined to elaborate.

Williams said he was unable to attend the special called meeting due to work.

He said he fully supports the board’s vote. Asked if he would have voted for Brown if he had been present, he said, “I have no problem with Dr. Brown being superintendent.”

“I will be working with the board and Dr. Brown moving forward,” Williams said.

Board president Deirdre Mayes also said she hopes the board can move forward.

“I hope that everybody will support her,” Mayes said, explaining the ultimate concern for the district is the students.

Brown’s 16-year career at Leflore and Greenwood schools was interrupted in October 2014, when she was fired by then-superintendent Montrell Greene after she claimed during a radio interview that Greene had bullied and harassed her and other district employees.

Greene claimed she was insubordinate and in violation of district policies.

She protested, and hearings dragged on for more than a year before the two sides settled and Brown was hired back as curriculum director. By that time, Greene himself had been fired by the board.

Mayes was selected by the board to contact Brown and offer her a three-year contract, which Brown accepted. The contract states Brown will be paid $150,000 per year over a three-year period beginning July 1.

Brown’s salary will be reviewed annually and may be raised if the board deems it appropriate; the salary cannot be less than $150,000 a year.

Brown will receive 12 vacation days, 10 sick, and 2 personal days per year. The board will also pay for any of Brown’s travel expenses outside of the Greenwood-Leflore School District for work, such as attending educational conferences or conventions.

Additionally, under the contract, Brown “will furnish good and sufficient surety bonds in the penal sum of $100,000 with sufficient sureties for service as Superintendent and in the sum of $50,000 for Purchasing Agent.”

Mayes said there will also be another contract to allow Brown to work as the district’s superintendent for the remainder of the current school year. Mayes said no date has been set, but the board is hoping that Brown can start immediately.

The board’s search for the superintendent began in December, when its members voted to hire the Mississippi School Boards Association to assist with the process.

There were originally 15 candidates. MSBA interviewed eight in person, and the candidate pool was then cut to six. The board interviewed five candidates in person.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

(2) comments

thetruth

LORD!!! Here we go again .. same situations and same people that's really running the schools.. Nepotism, Board members family and friends, and watch the people that will be promoted.. the merger done nothing.. the real question is what about the kids?? the state will revaluate in 3 or less years.. watch!! Oh and if Leflore co are concerned about Taxes then the concern is now a reality

Princess

Congratulations, Dr. Brown! I'm glad the Board decided to invest in one of our own to lead our schools. There are many competent and knowledgeable people right here in Greenwood~Leflore County; we do not have to always bring in outsiders to successfully perform a job—we have the local talent right here. I'm sure Dr. Brown will try to select competent individuals with the right credentials who are well qualified for certain positions. It would stand to reason that at least some of the people she selects will be those with whom she has developed a good relationship and trust. What administration in any area of the workforce doesn’t do that? Outsiders bring in their friends, too. We always talk about our people leaving Greenwood after college and taking their talents elsewhere. I wonder why? When they stay, people do not want them to promote high enough to earn good salaries. We need the community to rally around Dr. Brown, her administration, and the newly formed school district. We do not need a culture of "negative nannies" who are only worried about who gets promoted and how much money someone is going to make. Many current educators in both the Greenwood and Leflore County School Districts have gone to school, educated themselves, worked hard, and have positioned themselves to earn promotion, and they still have the bests interests of the students at heart. Unfortunately, not all can be promoted. EVERYONE wants to earn nice wages, regardless of the profession. People only seem to have a problem with educators making high wages, or have a problem when it is not them who will earn the high salary. However, I digress…..For any administration to be successful, the Board, employees, and community need to fully support the superintendent and her administration, and the culture of the community for which the district serves needs to be one of collaboration, support, and excellence. Lets support Dr. Brown and pray that she chooses the right, competent people for key positions, pray that she has the courage to make tough and unpopular decisions, pray that she is fiscally responsible, and pray that we all keep our focus where it belongs--- on the success of students in this community.

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