The Newark school board will begin interviews this week with six candidates who applied for the superintendent's position.

The Newark school board will begin interviews this week with six candidates who applied for the superintendent's position.

The board narrowed the list of 29 applicants to six last week after holding a special meeting with an executive session.

The candidates to be interviewed are Jonathan D. Brown, associate superintendent for Baltimore County, Md.; Douglas C. Ute, Elgin Local superintendent; Steve C. Price, Middletown City superintendent; Deborah A. Piotrowski, Millcreek-West Unity Local superintendent; Dale L. Dickson, Perry-Hocking Educational Service Center superintendent; and James J. Herrholtz, superintendent of Richmond Heights Local.

Board president Molly Ingold said the board had a diverse group of candidates, and members narrowed their search for interviews by using a list of qualifications determined by the board, the community and staff.

"Our duty is to provide the district with the best possible person we can, and we can do it with the candidates we looked at tonight," she said following the June 24 meeting in which the six to interview were chosen.

Interviews will be held June 30 and July 1 with board members only, said Kathy LaSota, a consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association, who has helped the district with its search.

Second-round interviews could be scheduled for July 9 if needed. Again, the board will complete those interviews. LaSota said a final round of interviews is planned for July 14 and will include members of the staff and community.

The six chosen to be interviewed all have experience as a superintendent. LaSota said they also were chosen for such abilities as understanding school finance, having a good working relationship with their school boards, knowledge of curriculum and ideas on how to improve student achievement.

Ingold said she was pleased that the board had decided to include the community in the process and said the board is excited to begin the interviews.

Both Ingold and Robert Handelman said they had received a good list of candidates who applied for the position.

The board is trying to get someone in place prior to Keith Richards' retirement, which is effective Aug. 1.

lwince@thisweeknews.com