Preacher's wife backing Edwards

By Trina Trice

The wife of a preacher who heads the Association of Black Christian Ministers recently attempted to share her support for superintendent candidate Dr. Lonnie Edwards with a board member.

Rose Marie Greene, wife of the Rev. Wesley Greene, said she acted alone and independently when she left materials at a board member's house.

Her husband was asked at a Wednesday press conference to show support for embattled School Board Chairwoman Nedra Ware whether he had been publicly endorsing Edwards to board members. He said he had not.

Greene and her husband first heard Edwards speak at a banquet.

Edwards met Clayton County Board of Education Chairwoman Nedra Ware at the same banquet thrown by Harry Ross, organizer of a petition drive to bring a mandatory dress code to Clayton County Schools, in February.

Ross thought it would be good for Ware and Edwards to meet, but denies he has tried to convince Ware and other school board members to appoint Edwards as the school district's new superintendent.

Greene admits she tried to share information with a board member's relative, but did not reveal names.

"I have not personally spoken with any board members about Dr. Edwards," she said. "When the announcement was made earlier this month that (Edwards) was the finalist for the superintendent's job, I sought to know more about him. I have shared that public information, including the book that he authored.

The more that I learn about him the more impressed I was, personally."

Edwards is currently assistant superintendent for DeKalb County Schools.

A Stone Mountain resident and father of two, Edwards began his teaching career as a physical education instructor. He wrote an autobiographical account of his experience for a book "A Teacher's Touch: Reaching Beyond Boundaries."

Ware has been pushing Edwards and announced recently she is scheduling a vote late this month on his selection. But four of the eight board members said they will not support anyone until a true nationwide search for a superintendent is done.

About a dozen applied in a limited search for superintendent.

Meanwhile State Rep. George Maddox, D-Decatur, expressed his support of friend Dr. Jim Williams in letters he sent to school board members.

"I've known him for 30 years," Maddox said about Williams. "I've always been a community person, and being a state rep, I've worked even closer with Dr. Williams on several issues."

Williams, associate superintendent of Parent, Community, and Support Programs for DeKalb County schools, began his school administrative career in the mid-1970s.

Maddox knows Edwards, as well, but said he isn't trying to say one is better than the other, although he has publicly endorsed Williams.

"We have choices and my choice would be Jim," he said. "I've just worked with Jim more. All the issues that Clayton County is facing?the person I believe can bring people together is him."

Williams, who is believed to be one of the candidates applying for the superintendent post, began his teaching career in physical education, as did Edwards.

Williams has a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Alabama State University, master's and specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from Georgia State University, and a doctorate degree in education from Clark Atlanta University.

Edwards and Williams did not return phone calls by press time.

"I have since learned that the process may be opened to additional applicants by way of a national search," Greene said. "It is my prayer and hope that the most qualified applicant will be chosen."