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School superintendent turns down 'Excellence for All' funding

GREENWOOD — School superintendent Montrell Greene has declined $50,000 in to facilitate a national “Excellence for All” initiative in Greenwood. It was money awarded to the district last year.

The program aims to give students more than one path to graduation, and in some cases it allows them to begin college-level courses while in high school.

Greenwood was one of five Mississippi schools to get the money.

Greene tells the Greenwood Commonwealth the school district would have had to rush to the program in place in the fall. He also said the school district is in transition and too much change wasn’t good during a time of uncertainty.

The program would have required the implementation of a new academic curriculum.

Greene said the $50,000 would cover program costs only up to a point, leaving the district to pick up the rest. He also said he was made aware of the grant when the district was in the midst of a host of new changes, including a new superintendent and the resignation of the Jennifer Wilson, the director of curriculum.

Wilson resigned from the curriculum position after being passed over for the permanent superintendent job in April.

Wilson secured the Excellence for All grant while serving as interim superintendent. She was chosen for that job after the resignation of Dr. Margie Pulley last August, and last fall, she pulled together a team of teachers and administrators to apply for the grant.

Greene said Excellence for All would have affected all incoming ninth-graders, requiring a curriculum overhaul that would have to be completed in one short summer.

“Looking at the grant as it was, with the expectation that we would start in the fall, I saw that three things were not put in place yet: the budget, a curriculum and parental input,” Greene said. “Without having known that those things were in place, we needed to do more studying.”

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