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Gorman's top deputy may leave

When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman tackles the thorniest issues facing the school system, his top deputy, Maurice “Mo” Green, is usually at his side.

But that could soon change, officials announced late Monday. Green, regarded as perhaps Gorman's most trusted and influential aide, has been named one of two finalists for superintendent of Guilford County Schools.

“My first thought is: It's a great opportunity for someone who deserves it,” Gorman said during a hastily called press conference Monday afternoon. “And that leads me to my other emotion: I don't want this district to lose such a talented, capable leader.”

As deputy superintendent and chief operating officer of CMS, Green handles the day-to-day operations, keeping a 135,000-student, 18,000-employee school system running smoothly. Guilford's system, based in Greensboro, has more than 71,000 students and about 10,000 employees.

Green said during the news conference that he has mixed emotions about the possibility of leaving Charlotte.

“I have invested a lot in this school system and it has returned its favor many fold,” Green said. “I enjoy what I do. … I'm invested in this community, my family is and so I have conflicting emotions about this opportunity.”

If Green leaves, it would deprive Gorman of a man he described as “both a colleague and a friend.” It would also mean the loss of the man school board members describe as the superintendent's most trusted aide. Green handles the nuts and bolts of running CMS, they say, leaving Gorman free to concentrate on big-picture ideas and new policy directions.

When Gorman announced earlier this month that he would need to cut more than 300 jobs, Green appeared with him at the news conference and helped explain the details of the decision.

“I call them the dynamic duo,” said Joe White, school board chairman. “Both are workaholics. Both are willing to do whatever it takes for the school district to succeed.”

Added school board member Trent Merchant: “They have a very close relationship. Dr. Gorman trusts Mo Green maybe more than anyone else he works with.”

Green is contending with Shirley Prince, superintendent of Scotland County Schools, for the top job in Greensboro's school system. Both candidates will meet the public during a series of community forums on Wednesday. A press release from the Guilford system did not say when the new superintendent will be named.

Green, who makes $202,800 annually, said he was approached by Guilford leaders about the superintendent job and spent the past couple of weeks interviewing for the post. He said he was intrigued by the opportunity of working in Guilford, which he described as a dynamic school system.

Green, 41, earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Duke University. His first job out of school was as a clerk to Woody Tilley, a federal judge based in Greensboro.

He moved to Charlotte in 1993 to work for Smith Helms Mulliss and Moore (now Helms, Mulliss and Wicker). CMS was one of the firm's clients. Green worked his way up to partner at the law firm, before leaving in 2001 to become general counsel for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

He would serve in that post for 51/2 years, representing the district in high-profile cases such as the Leandro lawsuit over state spending and behind-the-scenes legal work involving construction, real estate and personnel.

He also served as the district staff liaison for the search that ultimately brought Gorman to CMS in 2006. Gorman, shortly after being named superintendent, tapped Green for the district's number two position.

In an Observer interview at the time, Green said he debated whether to leave his law career. But ultimately, he said he was swayed by his own expectations of success and public service. “I always sort of struggle with ‘Can I do more? Can I do more?'” Green said then. “This offers me an opportunity to do more.”

School board vice chair Molly Griffin said Gorman isn't the only one who relies on Green. She said she often seeks him out for advice and insight on issues facing the school system.

She and other school board members said while they would be sad to see him go, they genuinely like him and feel certain he'll make a successful superintendent.

“Unfortunately for us,” Merchant said, “he's probably a no-brainer for Greensboro.”

When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman tackles the thorniest issues facing the school system, his top deputy, Maurice “Mo” Green, is usually at his side.

But that could soon change, officials announced late Monday. Green, regarded as perhaps Gorman's most trusted and influential aide, has been named one of two finalists for superintendent of Guilford County Schools.

“My first thought is: It's a great opportunity for someone who deserves it,” Gorman said during a hastily called press conference Monday afternoon. “And that leads me to my other emotion: I don't want this district to lose such a talented, capable leader.”

As deputy superintendent and chief operating officer of CMS, Green handles the day-to-day operations, keeping a 135,000-student, 18,000-employee school system running smoothly. Guilford's system, based in Greensboro, has more than 71,000 students and about 10,000 employees.

Green said during the news conference that he has mixed emotions about the possibility of leaving Charlotte.

“I have invested a lot in this school system and it has returned its favor many fold,” Green said. “I enjoy what I do. … I'm invested in this community, my family is and so I have conflicting emotions about this opportunity.”

If Green leaves, it would deprive Gorman of a man he described as “both a colleague and a friend.” It would also mean the loss of the man school board members describe as the superintendent's most trusted aide. Green handles the nuts and bolts of running CMS, they say, leaving Gorman free to concentrate on big-picture ideas and new policy directions.

When Gorman announced earlier this month that he would need to cut more than 300 jobs, Green appeared with him at the news conference and helped explain the details of the decision.

“I call them the dynamic duo,” said Joe White, school board chairman. “Both are workaholics. Both are willing to do whatever it takes for the school district to succeed.”

Added school board member Trent Merchant: “They have a very close relationship. Dr. Gorman trusts Mo Green maybe more than anyone else he works with.”

Green is contending with Shirley Prince, superintendent of Scotland County Schools, for the top job in Greensboro's school system. Both candidates will meet the public during a series of community forums on Wednesday. A press release from the Guilford system did not say when the new superintendent will be named.

Green, who makes $202,800 annually, said he was approached by Guilford leaders about the superintendent job and spent the past couple of weeks interviewing for the post. He said he was intrigued by the opportunity of working in Guilford, which he described as a dynamic school system.

Green, 41, earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Duke University. His first job out of school was as a clerk to Woody Tilley, a federal judge based in Greensboro.

He moved to Charlotte in 1993 to work for Smith Helms Mulliss and Moore (now Helms, Mulliss and Wicker). CMS was one of the firm's clients. Green worked his way up to partner at the law firm, before leaving in 2001 to become general counsel for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

He would serve in that post for 51/2 years, representing the district in high-profile cases such as the Leandro lawsuit over state spending and behind-the-scenes legal work involving construction, real estate and personnel.

He also served as the district staff liaison for the search that ultimately brought Gorman to CMS in 2006. Gorman, shortly after being named superintendent, tapped Green for the district's number two position.

In an Observer interview at the time, Green said he debated whether to leave his law career. But ultimately, he said he was swayed by his own expectations of success and public service. “I always sort of struggle with ‘Can I do more? Can I do more?'” Green said then. “This offers me an opportunity to do more.”

School board vice chair Molly Griffin said Gorman isn't the only one who relies on Green. She said she often seeks him out for advice and insight on issues facing the school system.

She and other school board members said while they would be sad to see him go, they genuinely like him and feel certain he'll make a successful superintendent.

“Unfortunately for us,” Merchant said, “he's probably a no-brainer for Greensboro.”

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