Tift College of Education Alumnus One of Four Finalists for National Superintendent of the Year


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Mercer University Tift College of Education alumnus Dr. Philip Lanoue has been named a finalist for 2015 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Dr. Lanoue earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Tift College and has served as superintendent of the Clarke County School District in Athens since 2009.

He was named Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the AASA earlier this month, and is up against three other finalists from Florida, Virginia and Louisiana for the national award, which will be announced during the organization's 150th anniversary celebration Feb. 26-28 in San Diego.

“We are proud, but certainly not surprised, to see Dr. Lanoue recognized for the leadership he provides,” said Dr. Paige Tompkins, interim dean of the Tift College of Education. “Instead of being worn down by the challenges inherent in the job, Phil seems to gain strength, energy and motivation by facing the challenges head on. The students, families and employees in his district are fortunate to have such an informed, passionate and tireless advocate for their success. It's no wonder the results of his work are getting national attention.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Lanoue, the Clarke County School District has been honored as a Title I Distinguished District for being Georgia's No. 1 large district for closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students.

In addition, all elementary and middle schools made 2010 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the state's measure of achievement under No Child Left Behind. Both Cedar Shoals High School and Clarke Central High School are Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools for the state of Georgia. The district's graduation rate is above the state average in every subgroup.

Dr. Lanoue was also instrumental in innovative partnerships, including the revitalization of the Athens Community Career Academy. The charter program is a partnership among the school district, the University of Georgia, Athens Technical College and OneAthens. With a shifted focus on postsecondary education, Athens Tech faculty members offer free college courses for school district students.

He also worked closely with the University of Georgia College of Education to form one of the nation's only Professional Development School Districts. Aspects of this partnership include university professors-in-residence – faculty who dedicate 50 percent of their time to a school or district location – as well as college students taking courses on site, and school district teachers and university faculty participating in continuous learning.

The district is one of the 2013 and 2014 Best Communities in Music Education as named by the National Association of Music Merchants.

Prior to serving as superintendent of the Clarke County School District, Dr. Lanoue was area assistant superintendent for the Cobb County School District in Marietta. He previously served as principal for 18 years in four high schools in Massachusetts and Vermont, his home state.

Dr. Lanoue has been named one of the Top 50 Technological Innovators in Education by the Center for Digital Education, Boston Northwest Principal of the Year and National Association of Secondary School Principals Vermont Principal of the Year. He served on the advisory board for The Principals' Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he oversaw leadership interns from a variety of Ivy League universities.

He earned his M.Ed. in administration and planning and his bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Vermont, and currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Georgia in the Educational Administration and Policy program in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA's mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

About the Tift College of Education

Mercer University's Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta, Savannah and the University's four Regional Academic Centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. The College offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Practitioner,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. education.mercer.edu

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.