3 chosen as finalists for Fayette school superintendent

Three people have been selected as finalists to become Fayette County Public Schools next superintendent, the school board announced Tuesday.

The finalists' names were to be made public Wednesday.

School board members picked the finalists Tuesday night after meeting in closed session for about two hours to consider 14 applications for the superintendent's post.

Tom Jacobson, who heads the superintendent search firm McPherson & Jacobson, said afterward that the finalists' names will be released as soon as all accept invitations to come to Lexington for interviews next week.

Officials expected to release the names before noon Wednesday, district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said.

The tentative plan is for the Fayette County Board of Education to meet June 10 to name one of the finalists to succeed Stu Silberman. Silberman announced in February that he would be retiring this summer after leading the district for seven years.

"We're confident the community will be impressed with the quality of the candidates," Jacobson said.

During Tuesday night's closed session, the district's six-member superintendent screening committee presented the school board with its five recommended candidates. McPherson & Jacobson submitted its own recommendations.

With the finalists' names expected to be released Wednesday, the superintendent selection process, which has been shrouded in secrecy, will move into full public view.

The finalists will be invited to Lexington next week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, for tours of the district, interviews with the school board, meetings with community and school district groups, forums with the public, and question-and-answer sessions with the news media. One finalist will visit each day, and each will have the same schedule of interviews, meetings, forums and questions to ensure equality in the process.

The board has said it intends to have the new superintendent on board by July 1.