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.
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