Dr. Philip Lanoue.
Dr. Philip Lanoue.

The sole finalist for the job of superintendent of the Fulton County school district has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post, the school system announced Feb. 24.

School board president Linda McCain said the board would being looking immediately for a replacement for Philip Lanoue, who the board announced on Feb. 5 was the sole candidate for the Fulton County superintendent’s job.

“Our school board is moving forward,” McCain said in a press release. “We have a number of highly qualified candidates. In fact, choosing a finalist was difficult because of the quality of those considered for the position.”

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

Lanoue decided to remain as superintendent of the Clarke County, Ga., schools, McCain said.”Dr. Lanoue feels a strong need to remain as superintendent in Clarke County,” McCain said in a press release from the Fulton school system. “We thank Dr. Lanoue for his interest and wish him well.”

Update: Ajc.com is reporting that Lanoue’s decision not to leave Clarke County schools comes amid controversy over that district’s handling of a rape report at a high school. For more, go here

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.