The Fayette County Board of Education has narrowed the field of candidates for Fayette County's next superintendent, interviewing eight candidates via Skype on Wednesday and Friday.
"The quality of the candidates and their depth of experience are truly impressive," board members said in a joint written statement released Friday night. The names were not being released.
School board members have said they would like to find a replacement for Tom Shelton by July. Shelton's resignation was effective in December. Marlene Helm has been serving as interim superintendent.
In the next step for the permanent position, the Lexington-based search firm McNamara Search will continue the process of background and reference checks, the statement said. The work will include education; credential and employment verification, credit reports; legal, driving and criminal records; and interviews of constituents in the communities where the candidates worked.
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Candidates will also take several assessments to provide the board with information about behavior, aptitude and cultural competence.
Once that process is complete, the school board will decide how many candidates to bring in for public interviews. Board members said no decisions have been made about the number of public interviews that will be held, but they said they want to begin the interviews during the week of June 22.
There were 57 applicants for the job. The vetting of candidates included 18 hours of review by a six-member Superintendent Screening Committee, which recommended seven potential candidates to the school board. The school board also reviewed the candidates. Under state law, school boards do not have to take the recommendations of screening committees.
Of the 57 total applicants, the district said 49 are male; 32 candidates are white, and 25 are black. Only 15 percent had past or present ties to Kentucky. The district said 29 percent of applicants were currently working in the South, 24 percent were from the East Coast, 31 percent from the Midwest, 13 percent from the West/Southwest and 4 percent did not disclose.
Of the eight candidates the board interviewed via Skype, 6 are men. Five of the candidates are white, and three are black.