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2nd DeKalb Superintendent finalist drops out |

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2nd DeKalb Superintendent finalist drops out

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- Members of the DeKalb County School Board met behind closed doors on Monday after their lead candidate for superintendent withdrew her candidacy over the weekend.

A spokesman for the school system confirmed that Dr. Lillie Cox, Superintendent of the Hickory, N.C. Public Schools (4,400 students), notified the board on Saturday through her attorney.

Her decision came one day after details of her negotiations, including her requests for vacation time, severance and salary, were leaked to a local newspaper.

Dr. Cox is the second of three finalists to drop out of the running.

Dr. Gloria Davis, Superintendent of the Decatur, Ill. Public Schools (8,700 students), recently informed the board that she didn't want to be considered for the job.

That leaves only Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent of Champaign, Ill. Community Unit School District Number 4 (8,900 students), left.

DeKalb County has been without a permanent school superintendent for a year. The last man with the job, Dr. Crawford Lewis, was indicted.

Now, the district faces a looming deadline from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Officials with SACS have warned the board to conduct an open, national superintendent search to avoid probation.

DeKalb County is Georgia's third largest school district with more than 90,000 students.  

The school board has been conducting a national search for a permanent superintendent since April 2010, when Dr. Lewis was fired and later indicted on charges he ran a criminal enterprise in the school system.

Ramona Tyson has served as interim superintendent since taking over the reins a year ago. She was at the helm during the controversial redistricting process earlier this year.

Tyson has said that she's not interested in becoming the permanent superintendent, but that could change with only one finalist left in the running. 

For more information and updates on the permanent superintendent search, visit www.dekalbsuperintendentsearch.com.