“As a board, we should register a complaint with the MASB,” said Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education Trustee Sherry Frazier at the special board meeting April 28.
She referred to the Michigan Association of School Boards whose representative Dr. Rodney Green is leading the program to find a new school superintendent for the Van Buren Schools to replace Michael Van Tassel who was fired in February.
The Van Buren schools agreed to pay $7,200 for his service.
“We should register our concern over them sending us Green with his background,” Frazier said. “I checked out the public records and it is accurate.”
She said: “Shame on you,” to MASB. She added that she doesn’t know if they can trust Green’s work for them.
No other board member commented on her statement, but later Frazier said all members of the school board were sent emails from a member of the East China School Board in St. Clair County telling about Green’s background.
She said Green was fired for the same sorts of things Van Tassel was fired for.
According to news reports, members of the East China District tried to warn Central Bucks School District families in Doylestown, PA, when it was considering Green for its superintendent for the third-largest school district in the state after a nationwide search. Green was getting about $148,625 per year in East China with 5,000 students.
Central Bucks, with about 20,000 students, hired him with a salary of $225,000 to start and then fired him after nine months in 2013. To break the four-year contract, he was able to leave the district with $364,000 and a year of health insurance in the severance agreement, which included a non-disparagement clause. That means neither side could say critical remarks about the other. He also was able to keep his district-paid iPad and iPhone.
Several residents of the East China School District commented publicly about their dissatisfaction with Green’s performance and created a Facebook page: Save East China Schools.
Green received $60,000 plus vacation days when he left East China after he resigned.
“They did what East China should have done a long time ago!” said Mary Westrick, referring to Central Bucks. “Rod Green ruined our district and we deserve better! Very saddening to see he is walking away with so much money.”
At the special school board meeting to fire Green in Central Bucks, Board President Stephen Corr said there wasn’t one single “earthshattering” reason for Green’s dismissal.
Rather, it was a series of alarming actions that led the board to believe the relationship “wasn’t working.” Nearly 200 attended that special meeting in which Corr painted the picture of an aloof administrator who used “superficial” school visits and Twitter to mask his lack of engagement. Corr said the board felt it would be detrimental to the educational advancement of the district to keep him at the helm.
Green reportedly regularly visited classrooms but the visits never led to discussions about education or curriculum. Green reportedly did not ask for the school board’s input when he made decisions, either.
Teachers said Green never once attended a K-12 curriculum meeting and they witnessed him nod off during other important meetings. He also was accused of making “inappropriate” comments to women throughout the district.
Throughout the year, the board became aware of alarming stories from parents, students, administrators and teachers about issues they had with Green.