South-Western City Schools Deputy Superintendent David J. Stewart and Kirtland Local Schools Superintendent Stephen G. Barrett are finalists to fill the role of Gahanna-Jefferson's next superintendent.

South-Western City Schools Deputy Superintendent David J. Stewart and Kirtland Local Schools Superintendent Stephen G. Barrett are finalists to fill the role of Gahanna-Jefferson's next superintendent.

"We are very excited to be bringing two strong candidates to our stakeholders and to a final interview process with the board," said Beryl Brown Piccolantonio, Gahanna-Jefferson board president.

Ed Vittardi of Finding Leaders, the search firm hired to find the next leader, said the two candidates would be interviewed Monday and Tuesday, April 4-5.

"Each night will consist of community stakeholder interviews and conclude with a final interview with the ... board of education," he said.

Finding Leaders is scheduled to begin the stakeholder introduction at 3:30 p.m. April 4, with the actual stakeholder interviews beginning at 4 p.m. each day.

Vittardi said about 35 invited stakeholders would come from groups including support staff, parents, high school students, the administration, city leaders and community leaders.

"They were selected/invited by administrators and board members," he said.

Vittardi said more than 35 could be invited because Finding Leaders encourages districts to invite all administrators, given their working relationship with a superintendent.

"Folks are expected to be there both nights," he said.

Stewart has worked in his position in the South-Western City Schools since August 2013.

He's responsible for the day-to-day operations of 20,600 students and 2,500 employees and provides districtwide direction, coordination and leadership in the areas of curriculum, personnel, instructional supervision and educational services.

He was Hilliard Bradley High School principal from 2008 to 2013 and Hilliard Darby High School principal from 2004 to 2008.

Barrett has been working for Kirtland Local Schools since 2011.

In addition to being superintendent, he also has worked as the district's business manager, personnel director, transportation supervisor and curriculum director.

At Kirtland, Barrett successfully negotiated two bargaining agreements, and he made personnel reductions without increasing class size or academic programs, saving the district close to $1.9 million when combined with teacher concessions, according to his resume.

He previously served as associate superintendent for the North Olmsted City Schools from 2007 to 2011.

The finalists were selected from about two dozen applicants.

The new superintendent is expected to start Aug. 1.