As many as six superintendent candidates will be interviewed during private meetings with the Olentangy board of education, vice-president Dimon McFerson said at Tuesday's board meeting.

As many as six superintendent candidates will be interviewed during private meetings with the Olentangy board of education, vice-president Dimon McFerson said at Tuesday's board meeting.

Executive sessions will be held Dec. 1 and 6, and a third meeting will be held Dec. 8 if there are enough candidates. Two candidates are scheduled to interview Dec. 1. McFerson said a total of six likely will be considered before the board selects two finalists.

Those two finalists will be identified publicly, likely after a second round of closed-door interviews by board members, and will undergo some sort of public input or interview process to be determined later.

"We have some really talented and well-qualified people to talk with," McFerson said Tuesday. He earlier said extending confidentiality to the superintendent applicants would allow them to interview with Olentangy without repercussions at their current jobs.

The board in October agreed to conduct its second search to replace Scott Davis, who retired as superintendent in April, without using a search firm.

The last search was suspended in June after the two finalists withdrew their names from consideration. The district and a Franklin County search firm it used had publicly identified five top candidates in May.

All current candidates who have agreed to interview said they would not have done so had their names been publicly disclosed during the preliminary stages, he said.

"They are all sitting superintendents."

Each board member will submit questions on a specific topic to board president Scott Galloway prior to the interviews, to ensure all candidates are asked the same questions during the first round.

Julie Wagner-Feasel will submit questions on parental involvement, Teri Meider will cover curriculum, Jennifer Smith will ask about school finance, McFerson will ask about leadership and Galloway will bring up staffing.

Smith asked if compensation has been discussed with any of candidates.

She said a school board member in another district sent her an e-mail saying that district's superintendent was offered a "blank check" to come to Olentangy.

Other board members, including McFerson, disputed that allegation. McFerson denied ever discussing any form of compensation with any of the candidates.

"This is a competitive situation," McFerson said, adding salary would be a part of final contract negotiations.

The board also will have to publicly vote to approve any contract between the district and the new superintendent.

Galloway said no other board members were contacted about the alleged "blank check" statement, and said he is looking forward to interviewing candidates.

The board will "invest whatever time is necessary to find our next superintendent," Galloway said.

The final school board meeting of the year will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 9, at district headquarters, 814 Shanahan Road.