The search for a new Papillion-La Vista Schools superintendent reached a key stage Wednesday night.
School board members got their first look at the names, résumés and references of applicants for the top job in the state’s fourth-largest school district.
The board spent nearly five hours in closed session with a team of search consultants sorting candidates and narrowing the list.
Board member Mike Jones said the meeting was productive but he could not comment further on the discussion.
Fifty-seven people applied to replace outgoing Superintendent Rick Black, who is retiring June 30 after nearly six years leading the district.
Gary Ray, president of the search consulting firm Ray and Associates, told the board members that the level of interest in the job was high. Some districts draw fewer than 10 applicants, he said.
The board is expected to make public this month a list of finalists who will be interviewed.
Over the next few days, board members will be compiling a list of about 20 questions they will ask during the interviews.
District spokeswoman Annette Eyman said the board is also considering a process by which community members, teachers, staff and students can have opportunities to meet with finalists.
Community and district staff who responded to a survey said the next superintendent must inspire trust, be self-confident and optimistic and have high integrity.
That person must also communicate well and put students first, the survey found.