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Hunt for Gainesville superintendent continues
School board to hold another round of interviews Saturday
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Gainesville School Board members will hold a closed-door meeting Saturday — their fourth in two weeks — as they continue their search for a new school superintendent.

The board is still conducting initial interviews from a pool of 30 candidates who applied for the job, Board Chairman Brett Mercer told The Times on Wednesday.

Mercer said the board is not ready to come up with a shortlist of finalists.

“At this point I don’t know what that number (of finalists) will be as we have not concluded our initial review.”

Board member Delores Diaz said she’s seen “some very good” candidates, but said they are in the middle of the process and have have more to go.

“It’s going to be a tough decision, but we’re encouraged with the candidates we have seen so far,” Diaz said. “The board takes this process very seriously, as well we should.”

Diaz echoed Mercer by saying the board “still have several people to talk to initially.”

Mercer said the goal of the board is to complete the search by the end of April.

“We have interviewed a number of candidates and we’re interviewing candidates,” Mercer said. “We have not had a discussion on how many finalists we’ll have. … As state law requires we will release a list of finalists. At this point, I don’t know what that number will be.”

School Superintendent Wanda Creel announced last year that she would resign at the end of this school year. The announcement came in the wake of criticism that she and the board did not effectively communicate with the community on the Enota school project.

The new two-story school to be built at the existing campus would eliminate the iconic Smartville garden — which was built, planted and cared for by volunteers, and funded through private donations.

Construction of the new school is scheduled to begin when classes end in May, and is scheduled to be ready for the 2018-19 school year. Enota students and teachers will share space at Centennial Arts Academy until their new school is completed.