It seems to be a trend.
Two days after the Savannah-Chatham County School Board announced Denise Watts as its “sole candidate” for the post of school superintendent, its Camden County counterpart also announced a single name for the position.
It named Tracolya Green, a Camden County native, as the “sole candidate” to succeed the current superintendent, John Tucker, The Current’s Craig Nelson reports. Green currently serves as assistant superintendent for grades 6-12.
In her application letter for the job, dated May 20, Green said she was dedicated to ensuring that every graduate of the county’s schools is “prepared for whatever future they have chosen for themselves.”
By law, the school boards of both Coastal Georgia counties must wait 14 days from the date of their announcements before holding a formal vote on the appointments. Neither school board has scheduled a vote.
In disclosing the choice of Watts at a news conference on the steps of school district headquarters in downtown Savannah last Wednesday, Savannah-Chatham County school board president Roger Moss said there would be no opportunity for the public to question her before the board gives its pro forma approval to her appointment as Chatham County’s highest-paid employee overseeing the biggest line item in its budget.
Courtney Ray, communications coordinator for Camden County schools, said yesterday that no public forum for Green has been scheduled before the county school board formally votes to make her the next school superintendent.
Watts is in the final days of her job as chief of schools of the Houston Independent School System (HISD), the nation’s eighth largest. The Houston Chronicle reported last week that Watts’ last day on the job will be June 14. She will have held the job for 21 months.
The newspaper described her departure as part of a “mass exodus” of HISD administrators who resigned ahead of the state’s takeover of the school system last week.
In March, the state seized control of the Houston school system, Texas’ largest, and removed its elected superintendent and school board following years of poor academic outcomes at one of the district’s high schools and allegations of misconduct from school board members. A new superintendent and nine-member board of managers have taken charge.
In its news release detailing Watts’ appointment, the Savannah-Chatham County School Board noted that the state agency overseeing Texas’ schools had already moved to take over administration of the Houston school system when Watts began her job as chief of schools in September 2021.
Despite those circumstances, the board said, Watts “implemented systems and conditions that fostered improvements across all schools in the district.”