Maurice “Mo” Green was honored with the 2016 Margaret Bourdeaux Arbuckle Award after serving as superintendent of Guilford County Schools (GCS) for eight years. While in this role, Green spearheaded the completion of the district’s first strategic plan, which focused on improving academic achievement, character and service, parent engagement and operational efficiency. Based on the plan, Green reorganized the district into regions, expanded visual and performing arts opportunities for students and implemented the Service-Learning Exemplary Award. By 2013, more than 400 students had earned Service Learning diplomas. Under his leadership in 2012, GCS opened its second early college, the STEM Early College at N.C. A&T State University with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. In 2014, the district’s high school graduation rate reached 88.5 percent, exceeding the state average, and seven schools posted 100% graduation rates, more than any other North Carolina district.

Green, a Duke University–trained attorney and former deputy superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, was the first African-American and first noneducator to serve in this capacity. In 2016, Green left GCS to become the executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he continues to make a positive impact in our state.