Community Turns Out to Meet New Superintendent

J.R. Green puts his name on the dotted line at a ceremony held last week at the Fairfield County School District Office.

After more than seven months of interim leadership, the Fairfield County School District finally has some new blood at the top. Last week, just one day after America celebrated its independence, the District celebrated the arrival of their new superintendent and introduced J.R. Green to the community.

More than 70 people turned out at the District Office to meet Green and hear his vision of what he hopes the School District can accomplish.

“He’s a breath of fresh air,” Andrea Harrison, Board Chairwoman, said. “Hopefully, he can help us get things back on track. Now, if we (the School Board) can only do our job and stay out of the way . . .”

Green shook a lot of hands during the informal meet-and-greet and said he has plans to shake up the culture of a school district that has earned a reputation of being a graveyard for superintendents.

“My goal is to change that culture,” Green said. “I am committed to being here long-term and forging a new path for the Fairfield County School District.”

Green said his first goal is to bring the entire community together to educate Fairfield County students.

“I want to get everyone on board to change the culture and to meet the needs of students in Fairfield County,” Green said. “Everyone will have a part to play – the faith-based community, family, students, teachers – everybody will have to pull together. Through teamwork, and only through teamwork, can we achieve excellence.”

Green said he plans to increase focus on early childhood education and, in addition to giving increased attention to students who are not performing up to standards, making sure students who are performing at or above grade level are adequately challenged.

“One of the more frequent complaints I have heard is ‘My child is not being challenged’,” Green said. “We want to evaluate how we are challenging students who are prepared. Too often, we focus all of our attention on students who are not prepared and overlook those who are performing above grade level.”

Green formally signed his contract with the District July 2. The Board voted 6-1 to authorize the hire June 27. Board member Annie McDaniel cast the lone dissenting vote.

Green replaces Dr. Patrice Robinson, who was fired by the Board in December of 2011. Robinson was hired by the District in January 2010 and was placed on administrative leave in October of 2011. Dr. Floride Calvert, and later Dr. David E. Eubanks, helped lead the District in the interim.

Green comes to Fairfield County from the Chesterfield County School District, where he has, since 2008, served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. 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.