By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy School Board plans to conduct a second interview this weekend with a lone unidentified finalist for the district's superintendent position.
School Board President Bill Daniels said the board initially identified two finalists after a first round of interviews with five candidates Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. However, one of the two finalists subsequently withdrew from consideration.
"That candidate was looking at a couple of other opportunities and chose to withdraw," Daniels said.
So the board decided to proceed with interviewing just the remaining finalist, whose name will "remain confidential at this point," Daniels said.
"We're going to have a further dialogue with this candidate," he said. "The candidate has got more questions for us, and we have more questions for this candidate, so we are going to conduct a second interview this weekend."
At a special board meeting Nov. 29, representatives from School Exec Connect (SEC) -- a search firm hired to help find a new superintendent -- indicated the board would bring back two or three finalists for a second round of interviews with participation by community groups and administrators.
However, Daniels said those plans changed after the second identified finalist withdrew. He said the board now won't decide until after this weekend's interview if it still wants to have some community involvement in the interview process or possibly conduct a "site visit" in the community where the finalist is employed.
"We went through the first round and identified two candidates that we definitely wanted to bring back. So now we're left with just one of those two who, I think, everyone believes is a very strong candidate," Daniels said. "I think we want to continue our discussions with this candidate and see where it goes."
During the Nov. 29 special meeting, Edward Olds III, a partner with SEC, told board members that if a "true consensus" is reached among board members on a preferred candidate after a second round of interviews, the board should not delay in making a decision whether to offer the person a contract.
The board's goal was to name a new full-time superintendent by Christmas, even though the person hired would not start work in Quincy until the new fiscal year begins July 1, 2013, replacing Lonny Lemon, who left the district last June.
Olds said 33 individuals submitted applications for the Quincy job. The candidates included 16 current superintendents, five principals, nine directors, one professor and two in "other" positions. Olds said 14 of the candidates were from Illinois, four from Missouri, two from Iowa, two from Indiana and 11 from other states.