Earlier this month, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Steve Green took the stage at Gladstone Elementary School and accepted the 2014-2015 School Hero Award.
On a bigger stage Wednesday night at the Lake of the Ozarks, the Missouri Association of School Administrators named Green its 2015 Pearce Award winner. Eight superintendents in Missouri had been nominated for the award.
Green is a standout because of the work he has done since taking the superintendent’s job in 2011. When he stepped into the position everything was coming apart.
Nearly half of its schools were closed because enrollment had fallen from about 35,000 a few years ago to 17,000. Hundreds of district employees were laid off, hundreds of contracts were terminated, a state takeover seemed likely and in 2012 the district became unaccredited.
Under Green’s leadership, the district became provisionally accredited in 2014, and he hopes for Kansas City Public Schools to earn full accreditation in 2015. It has helped throughout his leadership that the school board stopped meddling and started governing.
In a prepared statement, school board Chairman Jon Hile said: “It’s gratifying to see that Dr. Green’s peers recognize what we already know: that he is an outstanding educator and leader. This honor, combined with our improvement in many other areas, is yet more evidence that we are on the rise.”
Green received the Gladstone Elementary School Hero Award on March 13.
The school district will hold its own celebration for Green’s accomplishments from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Central Middle School, 3611 E. Linwood Blvd. The Pearce Award includes $500 for the recipient and a $500 scholarship for a student in the district of the award winner.