JCPS: 5 candidates remain for superintendent's job

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The school year is about to end and Jefferson County Public Schools board members are still trying to wrap up a tough assignment: finding a new superintendent to lead the district and turn things around.

There are roughly 30 days until outgoing Superintendent Doctor Sheldon Berman is done with the district.  Despite that, leaders say they're not rushing to fill his seat.

"We screened them down Saturday," said JCPS Board Member Carol Haddad.

Five superintendent candidates remain, down from nearly 30.  Names of the finalists are not being revealed until next week, and those in charge of the search will only say things are going well.

"We're interviewing people today (Wednesday) and Friday; June 1 we will announce two or three people that we're hoping to bring to Louisville for the community to meet with and talk with and get the opinion of these two or three candidates and we'll hire somebody soon we hope," Steve Imhoff with the Jefferson County Board of Education told WAVE 3 News.

But what they're talking about with those candidates isn't open to the public.  Board members met Wednesday behind closed doors; but in public, district leaders say they're looking for a lot.

"The best we can get and somebody that'll have longevity in Jefferson County. It's unusual for us to just have four years on a Superintendent because we've always had 13 and 14 and this is the first time we've had one for a short period of time and you don't accomplish a lot when don't have that continuity," Haddad said.

Longevity is just one of many goals the JCPS Board is setting.

"That they can run a district this size, that they believe in diversity and the main thing is that they're going to educate kids. We have a lot of under-performing schools and we need for them to be better and so those are some of the kind of things we're looking for," Haddad said.

The goal is to have the new superintendent on the job by July 1, when Dr. Berman heads to Oregon for a superintendent job there, after the JCPS officials decided to not renew his contract.

While the board want someone in place soon, they say they're not going to settle.

"If this group doesn't turn out we'll do more, we're not stuck to that; we're going to make sure we've got the right person this time, so we don't have to do this for awhile," Haddad said.

As for who the candidates are, leaders will only say that a mix of local and national people applied.

June 1 is when they plan to unveil the list of finalists.

Stay with WAVE 3 News and for more on this developing story.

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