Dr. Philip D. Lanoue is set to become the new Fulton County Schools superintendent after the county Board of Education named him the sole finalist for the job on Feb. 5.

Dr. Philip Lanoue.

Lanoue is currently the superintendent of the Clarke County School District in Athen, where he was named the 2105 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. The Fulton position has been vacant since former Superintendent Robert Avossa left for a Florida job last June.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected by the Fulton Board of Education as the sole finalist to lead the Fulton County School System,” said Lanoue in a press release. “To begin a new endeavor was not a decision I took lightly, but I look forward to working with the board, the staff and the broader community to build on their successes and make this district high performing for all children.”

“Dr. Lanoue’s background and experience match what is important to our community as evidenced by our superintendent search survey,” said Fulton Board of Education President Linda McCain in the press release. “He brings an unparalleled level of credibility with 38 years of educational experience. Dr. Lanoue’s leadership experience transcends geographical regions and has included rural, suburban and urban settings. He has consistently brought schools and districts to higher levels of academic achievement, and for these reasons we selected Dr. Lanoue as finalist.”

Prior to becoming Clarke County superintendent in 2009,  Lanoue was an assistant Superintendent for the Cobb County School District. Before that, he served as principal for 18 years in four high schools in Massachusetts and in Vermont, his home state. His subject specialty is biology, and he began his educational career as a science teacher.

Lanoue holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Mercer University as well as a master’s degree in education in administration and planning and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, both from the University of Vermont. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Georgia, teaching in the Educational Administration and Policy program of the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy.

The Board of Education plans to formally offer the job to Lanoue in two weeks, according to Fulton County Schools. He would start on May 1. The board’s decision also will follow a two-week public comment period. Comments can be emailed to Board of Education members, who also hold regular public meetings.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.