Gerald_Greene_smGerald Greene was principal of Mills River Elementary for 15 years, from 1971-86. Before that, he ran another local school — East Flat Rock — for seven years starting in 1964. He appeared in the 1967 edition of Outstanding Personalities of the South, for educational distinction. He started his career in this county by teaching eighth grade in Dana School for two years.

Gerald Greene is described by students’ parents as very trustworthy, humble, gentle, caring, courteous and conscientious. He was a problem-solving administrator, accessible and personable communicator. “Gerald was a very understanding principal,” said Ocie Stinnett, among several who as a school parents were very impressed with his style and results. “He talked to you on your level,” Mrs. Stinnett said. “He listened, and then decided the best action to take. You knew how he was going to handle the situation.”

Greene exemplified the old adage about learning by doing, growing through experience. “As a school principal, you gotta be ready for whatever happens next,” he said.

Safety and nutrition are two of his priorities for students. He’d be there to see the earliest children arrive and stay outside to see all buses safely off. “I wanted to provide the most I could, for the children,” Greene said. “Our purpose was getting them prepared for a high school education, to give each student the best basic skills. This involves an orderly school with fair discipline. At the same time, I’d like them to enjoy what they’re doing.”

2010 Education Hall of Fame