Updated, 7:20 p.m.:
It's official: Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent R. Stephen Green is leaving the district to take another position in Georgia.
Green has been a stabilizing influence in the district in the years since it lost state accreditation in 2012. But he says he's not worried his departure will stall efforts to regain full accreditation.
"The infrastructure and the system and the way in which that system is anchored into the culture of this school district, that's where the real stability is," said a visibly-emotional Green at a press conference to announce his departure.
Green says a search firm contacted him last month about the superintendent job in DeKalb County, Georgia, and he quickly became the district's top candidate. Green, who is in the middle of a five-year contract, says he was only willing to consider the job because the move would put him closer to his kids and grandkids.
School Board President Jon Hile says the district is considering two internal candidates to take over for Green on an interim basis after his departure June 30. Green also said he would be willing to stay a little longer if that's what KCPS needs.
"The board has also decided to form a search committee of board members who will begin to develop our process as we begin to look for our next leader," Hile said.
In an emailed statement, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James thanked Green for putting the needs of KCPS students first.
"We have learned a lot in recent years about how strong and steady leadership can change the course of an institution," James said. "Working together, I know that we can find a new superintendent who will pick right up where Dr. Green left off."
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The superintendent who's helped transform the struggling Kansas City Public Schools into a district poised to regain accreditation could be leaving for a job in Atlanta.
KCPS spokesman Ray Weikal confirmed Wednesday that Superintendent Stephen Green is the sole finalist for the superintendent job with the Dekalb County School District. The district has scheduled a 6:30 p.m. press conference to announce "very important information about the future of KCPS."
When Green took over the district in 2012, KCPS was unaccredited. Test scores improved under Green's leadership, and the district regained provisional accreditation last summer.
Green told KCUR Tuesday he was excited to see Lincoln Prep named the No. 1 high school in Missouri and was proud of the direction the district was headed. He also said KCPS is close to achieving full accreditation.