The decision is coming.
The Norwalk City Schools board of education is about to choose its superintendent to replace Dennis Doughty. Board members interviewed a candidate Monday night in executive session for about one hour and 10 minutes at the central office building. The board then met by itself after the man left the Benedict Avenue building.
Board president John Lendrum declined to say who the man was, but later told the Reflector the board is in the midst of "final negotiations" with an unspecified candidate.
"We're doing final negotiations. ... We're trying to make it work," Lendrum said. "That's contract talk -- things to put in a contract."
The board has a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the central office building. It's possible part of the meeting could be an executive session.
"We anticipate we'll be prepared to make a hiring announcement (Tuesday) if final negotiations come together," Lendrum said.
On July 14, Lendrum released the list of five candidates to the Reflector to be interviewed that week. All of the candidates have experience in administrative positions in a wide range of district sizes.
"We've had a second round of interviews with multiple candidates. We've had seven different sets of interviews," Lendrum said after Monday's meeting.
The five candidates (and their current positions) who were scheduled to be interviewed the week of July 14 are: Patrick Colucci (superintendent, Ashland Area City Schools); Sue Goodsite (assistant superintendent/director of curriculum and grants, Norwalk City Schools); James Millett (school administrator, Riverside Local Schools); Scott Will (superintendent, Crestview Local Schools); and Timothy Winland (superintendent, Paint Valley Local Schools).
"We had one candidate outside of the (original) five," said the board president, who declined to elaborate or name the applicant.
Lendrum was asked if the finalist gave an indication on how many years he or she might be committed to Norwalk.
"We'll be able to announce that (tonight)," he said.
Lendrum has said board members want someone who can lead the district, continue Norwalk's "excellent programs," is capable of thinking strategically and help the school system continuously improve.
Sixteen people originally applied to replace Doughty, who is retiring after 38 years in various local positions. He was Norwalk's superintendent for five years. Eleven people returned applications requesting an interview.
On Friday, Doughty starts his newest job as the president of Norwalk Catholic School. Due to his retirement rules, he can't have any contact with the district for 60 days.
Lendrum, when asked about Doughty's transition time with the next superintendent, said "Mr. Doughty has done a lot of preparation."
"The board is confident he has prepared everything and made some appropriate notes," Lendrum said.
Doughty was in his office Monday night doing administrative work.