The superintendent search committee for the Caldwell County School District met in closed session on Tuesday to whittle down the list of candidates for that position.

According to Quin Sutton, a field consultant for the Kentucky School Boards Association who is helping the committee with its search, the committee pared down the list of 19 applicants to five candidates.

That list will be presented to the CCSD Board of Education at its meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Butler Building auditorium.

Of the 19 applicants, 18 were men and 15 of the candidates were from Kentucky. Four of the applicants are current superintendents at other districts, five are district central office staff, eight are principals and one is a teacher. None of the applicants was retired.

According to the plan created by the board with the help of Sutton, the board will begin interviewing the five candidates on Jan. 25 and hopes to announce a new superintendent on Feb. 16.

Members of the superintendent search committee are teachers Kelly Byrd and Laura Lee White, board member Kim Cook, CCHS Principal Christy Phelps, parents Michael Faughn and Lisa Moore and classified employee Stephanie Randall.

Sutton is a former Caldwell County assistant superintendent and Lyon County superintendent. He helps school districts with their superintendent searches and said early in the process that it felt good to work closer to home.

The successful candidate would success Interim Superintendent Heath Cartwright, who succeeded Nate Huggins, who retired midway through his four-year term on June 30, effective Aug. 31.

Cartwright, a native of Caldwell County, has said that he is not interested in becoming the next superintendent and will remain the interim superintendent for as long as the board needs him in that position, even if that goes past July 1, the traditional start date for school district employees.

Cartwright previously served as the interim superintendent and assistant superintendent for the McCracken County School District from March through June 2019.