The Kentucky Board of Education on Saturday narrowed the number of candidates for the state's next education commissioner from five to two.
Board members did not announce the two finalists who will undergo further in-depth background checks. The final background checks, which will likely take several weeks, will cost nearly $5,000 for each of the two candidates, Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Rebecca Blessing said.
The five candidates named earlier were Kathleen M. Airhart, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer for the Tennessee Department of Education; Buddy Berry, superintendent of Eminence, Ky., Independent Schools; Christopher A. Koch, interim president of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and former Illinois state education superintendent; Lloyd D. Martin, CEO of Universal School Solutions, a consultancy firm in Jacksonville, Florida; and Stephen L. Pruitt, senior vice president of Achieve Inc., an education reform organization.
The state board is replacing Terry Holliday, whose retirement is effective Monday. Associate Commissioner and General Counsel Kevin C. Brown is serving as interim commissioner starting Sept. 1.