News that Superintendent Steve Green is leaving for a job in Atlanta understandably raises apprehensions that the Kansas City Public Schools may enter a new period of turmoil.
Continuity for students and teachers must take priority as the district begins its unexpected search for a new superintendent.
The city learned Wednesday that Green is leaving to head the Atlanta-area DeKalb County School District. DeKalb is the third largest district in Georgia with 100,000 students and nearly 14,000 employees in more than 140 schools.
Green’s adult children and grandchildren live in that area and were his motivation for the job switch. But his stabilizing influence at the helm of the Kansas City district will be missed.
Green had been president and chief executive of the Kauffman Scholars program when he was picked to lead the district after the August 2011 resignation of John Covington. The district became unaccredited in 2012 and was threatened with a state takeover. Under Green’s leadership it won provisional accreditation last year. Green’s goal was full accreditation this year.
That milestone will fall to a successor. The school board must carefully vet candidates and choose someone with the ability to maintain the stability and progress Green brought to the district.
The new superintendent must also focus on increasing enrollment, expanding the preschool program and reigniting partnership talks with Academie Lafayette for a new International Baccalaureate high school at the Southwest Early College Campus.
Kansas City Public Schools is on the right track. It just needs a strong, skillful leader — someone of Steve Green’s caliber, that is — for it to continue to move in the right direction.