Did a quick search and rundown of the three finalists for DeKalb school chief: Here is some background on each of them:
Arthur Culver: He is the superintendent in Champaign, Illinois and has been suggested in the Illinois media as a candidate for the Chicago’s school chief job.
In 2009, the Champaign school board voted 4-3 to extend his contract. In 2007, the board extended Culver’s contract from four years to five. According to the local newspaper, Culver earns $226,049 a year.
Culver had been school chief in the Longview Independent School in Texas. (Here is a story about a controversy that followed Culver from Texas to Illinois.)
Culver came from Texas to Champaign in 2002. According to the newspaper in East Center Illinois, the News-Gazette, “Since then, he’s had his hands full trying to meet the requirements of a consent decree negotiated before his arrival that is aimed at improving the performance of minority students. He’s done a good job, so it’s understandable a board majority would want to show its appreciation.”
Dr. Lillie Cox: Became superintendent of Hickory Public Schools in 2009, the first female in the job. At the time, she was 37 and the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Alamance-Burlington School System in Alamance County. Hickory hired her for a four-year contract at a base salary of $145,000. She is a former high school and middle school teacher as well as a principal and assistant principal. (See Hickory Dail Record story on her hiring.)
At the time, Sarah Talbert, school board chairwoman, told the Hickory Daily Record: “We had two interviews with Dr. Cox — one long one and one short one,” she said. “Her experience, vision, drive and demeanor set her apart.”
Her quote at time: “It seemed like the right time and the right place. The board has a dedication to diversity and ensuring that all backgrounds are successful.”
Dr. Gloria Davis: Became school chief in Decatur, Ill., in 2oo6. She came from Dodge City, Kan., where she has been superintendent since 2001. Davis was the first African-American female school district superintendent in Kansas.
She was hired in Illinois at an annual salary of $175,000. When she was hired in 2006, Jan Mandernach, Decatur school board president, told the Business Journal of Midcentral Illinois: “She has all the qualities we were looking for in a superintendent and meets the criteria identified by the community. She has a lot of energy and experience in working with groups in a community to build consensus.”
Why she took the job in Illinois: “One was the location. I’m a St. Louis native, and my mother and brothers and other family members still live there. The other was the school district in terms of the goals the district had set for furthering academic achievement and the quality of community as it relates to continuing to have a quality school system.”
An educator for 36 years, Davis began as a teacher, She was an elementary and middle school principal before becoming an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the University City School District in the St. Louis area. She holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctorate in educational administration and policy-making at St. Louis University.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog