It seems like you won't be able to identify the superintendent in Clintondale Community Schools without a scorecard.

The south Clinton Township school district this week accepted the early retirement of Superintendent Greg Green. And no fewer than three people will serve as his successor in the next few months.

Green formally retired July 24 -- about two years early -- following an investigation into complaints filed by employees about him. The probe essentially cleared him of any wrongdoing, according to school board members.

Former school board president Jason Davidson called Green's departure a "huge loss" for the Clintondale community. He said the two worked "hand-in-hand" on various projects in the past.

"We had a great, professional working relationship," Davidson, now board secretary, said Wednesday.

"Greg was good for Clintondale. But we are dealing with so much right, especially how to start classes with COVID-19 in the fall and how to accommodate those. And there is no transition plan in place for the superintendent. The next few months are going to be rough."

The school board on Monday night met to approve the retirement and decide on how to replace Green. Board members were at odds over competing plans on the replacement.

Some members backed having the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) conduct a search, while others supported the Macomb Intermediate School District coming up with a list of candidates.

Trustee Jim Potter said retired former assistant superintendent Mitch Ritter would serve as interim school boss starting Aug. 3.

"We need someone to steady the ship," Potter said. "When someone comes out of retirement, he (Ritter) must truly want to help the district."

But under state law, a school district cannot operate without a superintendent, so the board needed someone to serve in that role until a replacement is named, even if only for a few days.

Scott Morrell, a facilitator for the MASB, who attended Monday's virtual meeting, said the district was in "uncharted territory" without a leader.

"It is a very unique situation with a superintendent leaving so late in the year," he said.

After much debate, the board approved finance director Thomas Harrell to be acting superintendent until Ritter comes on next week.

Board members were divided over Ritter's appointment, which passed on a 4-3 vote. School board president Beverly Lewis-Moss, along with Marc Alexander, Stacey Kubbe and Potter voted for the move, while Michael Scott, Lois Murray and Davidson were opposed.

Lewis-Moss said although Ritter has been gone from Clintondale for about a decade, he is still familiar with the district's operations, personnel and programs, and would be a good fit for the interim position.

"It's not a permanent thing," she said. "It's temporary. We need someone who knows the job and can come in immediately."

Lewis-Moss also said she had already been in contact with MISD officials about potential candidates. She said more information would be coming in an August workshop meeting.

Other board members said that was news to them, leading to allegations of a lack of transparency.

"You are the president but you do not communicate with us. We need to know what's going on," Scott said.

The school board voted April 27 to hire Recon Management Group of Bingham Farms to look into several potential issues in the administration, including misuse of funds.

According to its website, Recon Management specializes in investigative services, security consulting, critical incident review, forensic accounting and surveillance, among other topics.

The items the firm has been asked to investigate include misuse of funds, having a side contract with a member of the school board, mishandling an abuse complaint filed by parents of a special education student and other issues.

School officials won't say what the study found, but said nothing improper was found.

Green, 52, who has not responded in the past to inquiries from The Macomb Daily, is leaving after 25 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent. 

The Mount Pleasant native was principal of Clintondale High School when he was appointed by the Clintondale Board of Education to replace George Sassin, who retired as superintendent in February 2015.

During his tenure, Green implemented a "flipped model" of learning, which is a learner-centered approach that urges students to watch and dissect videos and lectures at home to give them a head start once in the classroom. First implemented in 2010, the model has been credited with boosting graduation rates at Clintondale High School. The school has been named by CNN as one of the 41 most innovative schools in the United States.

Green also led the district in climbing its way out of a budget deficit that had been in existence for 16 years and turned it around to a surplus.

"I can say that the needle was significantly moved, in a most positive direction," Green said in his retirement letter to the school board.

Green also received an undisclosed cash payment as part of his early retirement release.

 
 
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