Council of the Great City Schools

The Nation's Voice for Urban Education

Green-Garner Award

 Richard Green
Each year at its annual Fall Conference, the Council presents a board member or superintendent with the Green-Garner Award, the nation's highest urban education honor recognizing outstanding contributions in urban education and named in memory of urban school leaders Richard R. Green and Edward Garner.
Sponsored by the Council, ARAMARK Education and Scholastic, Inc., the Green-Garner Award is the namesake of the first African American chancellor of the New York City school system and a businessman and former school board president of the Denver Public Schools, respectively.
Edward Garner The 2016 Green-Garner Award was presented to Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, who has served as CEO since 2007, and under his leadership graduation rates have risen, parent participation has strengthened and the district has experienced an increase in enrollment for the first time in decades.

“Eric Gordon has made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of Cleveland’s students, helped propel a once-struggling school system forward and significantly contributed to the future of the great city of Cleveland,” said Michael Casserly, the Council’s executive director. “Well done, Eric Gordon.”

 Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon accepts the Green-Garner award at the Council's 60th Annual Fall Conference in Miami.

Richard R. Green Award Winners

1989  W. Harry Davis, Retired Member Minneapolis School Board
1990   Timothy Dyer, Superintendent Phoenix Union High School District 
            James Griffin, Retired Member St. Paul School Board
1991  Paul Houston, Superintendent Tucson Unified School District
1992  Richard Wallace Jr., Superintendent 
Pittsburgh Public Schools
1993  Constance Clayton, Superintendent School District of Philadelphia
1994  Holmes Braddock, Board Member Miami-Dade County Public Schools
1995  Curman Gaines, Superintendent St. Paul Public Schools
1996  James Williams, Superintendent Dayton Public Schools
1997  Maxine Smith, Retired Member Memphis City School Board
1998  Gerry House, Superintendent Memphis City Public Schools
1999  Rod Paige, Superintendent Houston Independent School District
           Judith Farmer, Board Member  Minneapolis Public Schools
2000  Eric Smith, Superintendent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
2001  Barbara Byrd Bennett, Superintendent      Cleveland Municipal School District
2002  John Simpson, Superintendent Norfolk Public Schools
2003  Arthur Griffin, Board Member Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
           Franklin Till, Superintendent Broward County Public Schools
2004  Tom Payzant, Superintendent Boston Public Schools
2005  Anna Dodson, Board Member Norfolk Public Schools
2006  Beverly Hall, Superintendent Atlanta Public Schools
2007  Elizabeth Reilinger, Board Member Boston Public Schools
2008  Pascal Forgione, Superintendent Austin Independent School District
2009  Emmet Johnson, Board Member Atlanta Public Schools
2010  Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent School District of Philadelphia
2011 Candy Olson, Board Member Hillsborough County Public Schools
2012 Carol Johnson, Superintendent Boston Public Schools
2013 Denise Link, Board Member Cleveland Metropolitan School District
2014 Terry Grier, Superintendent Houston Independent School District
2015 William (Bill) Isler, Board Member
Pittsburgh Public Schools
2016 Eric Gordon, CEO
Cleveland Metropolitan School