HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville City Schools (HCS) has selected three finalists in the search for a new superintendent.

School board members have been sifting through applications since Memorial Day Weekend to find out who has what it takes to lead the district. Huntsville City Schools’ Attorney Christopher Pape said the board received 20 applications from candidates across the U.S.

The search comes after Christie Finley, the school systems superintendent since 2018, announced in March that she would be retiring at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

The three finalists for superintendent who were named at Tuesday’s meeting are all seasoned educators, according to Pape.

The first candidate presented during the work session was Dr. Jermaine Dawson, who currently serves as the Chief Academics and Accountability Officer for Birmingham City Schools.

The second candidate presented during the public meeting, Dr. Bren Elliot, is serving as the Chief of School Improvement and Supports in the D.C. Public Schools system.

The final candidate presented during the work session is the current Chief of Staff and Interim Superintendent for HCS, Dr. Clarence Sutton Jr.

HCS Board Member Ryan Renaud says he’s looking forward to the next steps in this process.

“In terms of what we’re excited about…I think getting an opportunity to get to know these people on a more interpersonal level, getting a better sense of what their leadership style is, what their dialogue with staff members/administrators would look and feel like,” Renaud told News 19.

In-person interviews with the three candidates are scheduled for Thursday, June 8. Interviews will begin at 2 p.m. and are open to the public, but seating for the interviews is on a first come first served basis.

“One of the things we’ve always said, at least since I’ve been on the board, is that we want the community’s input on anything we do. We’re constantly looking for their feedback, especially with these candidates,” Huntsville City Schools Board President Carlos Mathews said. “What do you think? This will be the person that will be leading your students through their education going forward.”

Thursday’s interviews will not be live-streamed, but they will be posted on the district’s website that night.

Pape said the HCS Board of Education will take a vote on who the next superintendent will be on June 13.