‘I leave so very thankful’: Outgoing Duval County superintendent looks back on tenure on final day for students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friday marks the end of the school year for students in Duval County and it’s also the last day on the job for Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, who is retiring.

Greene’s retirement doesn’t officially begin until July 24, but she’ll spend the next two months away from the district as part of her severance agreement, which includes a $130,000 payout.

Greene is retiring as the district is in the middle of several investigations, including looking into teacher misconduct and how the district reports some allegations to the state.

A lot of this stems from the recent arrest of a longtime teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, who is criminally charged with inappropriate contact and communication with a student. Three other teachers from the same school are also being investigated.

The Florida Education Commissioner also said there were 50 cases of misconduct that were not reported to the state in a timely manner.

Greene said she did not know about the late reporting and committed to looking into that and taking action.

Despite the allegations, there was a lot of praise for Greene and the work she’s done in the five years she’s been in Duval.

She is credited for improving the graduation rate, guiding the district through the COVID-19 pandemic, getting funding for infrastructure improvements and higher pay for teachers.

Greene was also named Florida Superintendent of the Year in 2021.

She renewed her contract last summer which was not supposed to expire until 2026.

Cindy Pearson, a DCPS member, sent the following statement about Greene’s last day.

“Speaking both as a DCPS parent and as a DCSB member, I have appreciated Dr. Greene’s leadership of our public schools. In addition to being an accomplished superintendent, Dr. Greene has led with the heart of a mother and of an educator. I will miss working with her but honor her decision to retire after 37 years of service.”

The district has found a temporary replacement for Greene; Dana Kriznar. She was the deputy superintendent and will now fulfill the role of superintendent while the district searches for someone to hire permanently, which is expected to take up to six months.

On Friday, Greene wrote a blog post reflecting on her time with the district.

“I can say from experience, if you are looking for a truly rewarding career – a career that really matters – you will find it in public education. Of course, there have been difficult moments. Any leadership role provides its own unique set of challenges. But the dedication of our team, the support of this community, and most important, the success of our students are the true rewards and the enduring memories that I will take into my retirement at the end of this week,” Greene wrote.

You can read the entire letter from Greene here.

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