FINLEY -- The Finley School Board met in special session Tuesday to narrow the field of candidates to replace Superintendent Suzanne Feeney.
Feeney will retire June 30 after nine years in the position.
Dennis Ray, head of the search firm hired to find candidates, received 18 applications for the Finley post.
The board met behind closed doors for 90 minutes to discuss the applications. Members emerged shortly after 8:30 p.m. to announce who will be invited for interviews next week.
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The board chose these candidates:
-- Lance Hahn, principal of River View High School in Finley, who has been an administrator in the district since at least 1994.
-- Kevin Jacka, superintendent of Mary Walker School District in Springdale, north of Spokane. The district enrolls more than 500 students.
-- Jeff Davis, superintendent of Central Curry School District in Gold Beach, Ore., a district of more than 500 students.
-- Dana Jones, principal of Pioneer Middle School in Walla Walla, which has more than 600 students.
About 978 students attend Finley schools.
Narrowing the list down to these four wasn't easy, said board Chairman Larry Ayre. "There were too many good candidates," he said.
The board also voted on a timeline for the selection process. The candidates will come to Finley on Monday and Tuesday -- two per day.
They will tour the district's schools and meet with district staff and the public in two separate forums.
The staff forums will be 3:30-5 p.m. on those days.
The public can meet the candidates from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on those days days. Closed-door interviews will be in between.
There will be brief forms on which staff and public can write their impressions of the candidates. Both forums will be at River View High School.
On May 12, the board will meet in closed session to possibly pick a new superintendent.
But members could schedule follow-up interviews or invite other candidates if no clear favorite emerges during the process.
* Jacques Von Lunen: 509-582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org