COLUMBIA -- South Carolina School Superintendent Mick Zais has named a deputy superintendent to replace Charmeka Childs, who stepped down to campaign for his job.

Zais announced Friday he appointed Cindy Van Buren as the new deputy superintendent for school effectiveness.

It comes two days after Childs officially announced she was joining the Republican field for superintendent. The race has gotten increasingly crowded since Zais announced in December he wasn't seeking a second term.

Childs' campaign spokesman says she left the Department of Education Jan. 31 to campaign full-time.

Van Buren joined the agency last April as director of the office of educator services. She was previously a professor and former education department chairwoman at Newberry College. Zais was president of the private college for 10 years before seeking elected office.