The Kentucky Board of Education spent Friday and Saturday interviewing 12 people for state education commissioner. The current commissioner, Terry Holliday, is retiring at the end of the month.
"We are impressed with the quality of the candidates we talked with," board chairman Roger Marcum said in a news release Saturday. "Each would bring solid experience and a unique perspective to the job."
The board still could consider additional applicants, he said.
Greenwood/Asher & Associates, which is handling the search, will conduct background and reference checks on the leading candidates.
The board is scheduled to meet Aug. 25 to review the results of those checks and narrow the candidates to a list of finalists.
Education Department spokeswoman Rebecca Blessing said Saturday that the board had not discussed whether the finalists' names would be made public.
The board plans to conduct the last round of interviews Aug. 28 and 29 at Embassy Suites in Lexington.
Marcum has said the board would like to name a commissioner by the time Holliday retires or soon after. Holliday has been commissioner since 2009.
Kevin Brown, associate commissioner and general counsel for the Kentucky Department of Education, will serve as interim commissioner starting Sept. 1.