Fairfield County School Board names new superintendent

After a one-hour executive session during a special called meeting June 27, the Fairfield County School Board named J.R. Green as the next superintendent of the Fairfield County School District. The motion to execute a contract with Green passed on a 6-1 vote. Board member Annie McDaniel cast the lone dissenting vote on the hire.

“It really saddens my heart to see this Board behave in the manner in which it has behaved in negotiating this contract,” McDaniel said after the vote. “It is this kind of stuff that keeps us from getting and keeping a superintendent and moving forward.

“I am also deeply saddened that we would negotiate two contracts with two individuals at the same time,” McDaniel continued. “We should have resolved one before moving on to the other.”

Vernie Williams, an attorney for Childs and Halligan, which represents the school district, said there was nothing inappropriate about the way the Board conducted the negotiations.

“We’ve advised the Board throughout the process and there was nothing illegal or improper about the process,” Williams said.

Board member Marchella Pauling, while voting in the affirmative, said she was not entirely happy with how the process played out.

“I am disheartened that our attorneys negotiated the contract (with Green) and not the Board,” Pauling said prior to the vote, “and we negotiated with Mr. (Dennis) Carpenter almost line by line.”

Carpenter, Deputy Superintendent of Operations at Newton County Schools in Georgia, was one of the three finalists for the Fairfield County top job.

McDaniel appeared to be hung up about Green’s buyout option in the contract, which had been negotiated down to nine months’ pay.

“We had decided on eight months,” McDaniel said, “and we gave him nine?”

Harrison later said that, during the negotiation process, the majority of the Board became more and more comfortable with Green as there appeared to be fewer issues to resolve in his contract than in Carpenter’s. Pauling added that there were seven sticking points in Carpenter’s conditions, while Green only presented the Board with three matters to resolve.

“He’s a people person and a better fit for our district,” Harrison said after the meeting.

“He has a good track record as far as curriculum and instruction,” Board member Beth Reid added, “and he has experience as a high school principal.”

Green has, since 2008, served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Chesterfield County School District. Prior to that, he served a four-year stint as principal of Central High School in Pageland.

In 2010, nine of the 16 Chesterfield County schools met No Child Left Behind standards. In 2011, the district had no schools rated lower than “Average.”

During Green’s term at Central High, the school rose from “Unsatisfactory” to “Good” on S.C. Department of Education report cards and met their Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for three consecutive years. The school also earned three consecutive Palmetto Gold Awards and was twice named a Palmetto Finest finalist.

Green began his career in education as a Business Education teacher, first at Wade Hampton High School in Hampton in 1994 and then at Spring Valley High School, from 1995 to 1996. In 1996, Green was named an assistant administrator at Spring Valley, where he implemented the District Strategy 18, an initiative to increase test scores among black males.

Green was also an assistant principal at Keenan High School from 1998 to 2004 before moving on to Central High.

Green earned a B.S. degree in Personnel Management from the University of South Carolina in 1991 and a M.A. in Teaching Business Education from USC in 1994. In 1999, he received his Master’s in Education Administration degree from USC and earned his School Superintendent Certification through the University of the Cumberland’s Williamsburg, Ky. program. Green is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Leadership through USC.