CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†There are at least 10 people still in the running to be the next state superintendent of schools following work done by the state Board of Education Thursday.

There were 12 original applicants for the job to replace outgoing Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano but two were eliminated Thursday because they didn’t meet the qualifications for the job, state Board President Tom Campbell told MetroNews. Campbell doesn’t yet want to say how many of the 10 are still in the running for the job.

“They are being contacted to gauge their interest in the job,” he said. “(We hope) the ones that are going to go to the next step are committed individuals that tackle this difficult situation and will really be an immediate help.”

Campbell said he’s a little disappointed only a dozen people applied for job but he understands.

“It’s not stranger that we (the state) have a huge budget deficit, a new board, a lot of challenges,” Campbell said. “Some people, depending on the stage in their career, aren’t really going to take that chance and you really can’t blame them.”

Campbell said the board may eventually side with a candidate that has more experience.

“If you have a younger person that takes that on early in their career and it goes south it may make them look bad. I really think the risk takers are probably going to be those that are more seasoned,” he said.

Interviews are scheduled for next week, March 23. The board wants to move as quickly as reasonably possible, Campbell said.

“The sooner we can have a good person in there that we know is going to be in there for a while the better off we’re going to be,” Campbell said.

Martriano is scheduled to leave the office by June.

Of the original 12 applicants, eight were from inside West Virginia and four from outside the state. Campbell expects the names of the finalists to be released once all are contacted and committed to going through the process.

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