Runcie friend named to high-paying school post

Bob Norman's Blog

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter
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BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - If you want to make a really big salary at the financially struggling Broward County School Board, it might just help to be a friend of Superintendent Robert Runcie.

At today's school board meeting, a Chicago transplant named Maurice Woods is expected to be approved as the School Board's new "Chief Strategy and Operations Officer." Woods' salary is set at $170,000, making him one of the highest paid board employees of all. 

Woods had a solid contact at the school board -- Superintendent Runcie. Woods was Runcie's chief deputy in Runcie's previous job as the chief information officer for the Chicago Board of Education. Runcie, as it happens, sat on the selection committee that picked Woods from a list of ten candidates.

Woods isn't the first associate of Runcie's from Chicago to follow him to Broward. Runcie created a public information officer position when he arrived. Chosen among numerous applicants for that job was Tracy Clark, who also worked with Runcie at the Chicago Board of Education. Her salary: $122,000.

Here's a bio on Woods, who is now perhaps the second most powerful person in Broward public schools:

Maurice has seventeen years of success in entrepreneurial, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Chicago Public Schools in November of 2004, Maurice served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Harvest Advisors, a Chicago-based management education firm focused on value creation for mid-sized service companies. Previously, Maurice had been principal consultant for IBM (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers – Management Consulting Services), specializing in developing and implementing corporate and operational strategies for Fortune 500 companies.

Maurice has specific expertise in a variety of management areas, including strategy, organizational design, business process improvement, and financial analysis. He has extensive experience in start-up and turn-around environments.

Maurice earned a dual MBA degree in finance, and management and strategy from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He received a BS in finance and economics from California State University-Sacramento. Maurice serves on the boards of non-profit organizations, actively participates in professional organizations, and volunteers for various inner-city youth organizations.

Maurice is an avid golfer, though he is just a beginner, and he loves jazz music. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Adrinia, and their daughters, Mya and Morgan.

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