ATHENS — One current superintendent, a college department head and two assistant superintendents are among the five finalists for the vacant Limestone County Schools superintendent position.

The Alabama Association of School Boards recommended the finalists to the county school board Tuesday night from a pool of 25 applicants. The finalists are:

• James W. Cantrell, of Trenton, Georgia, most recently director of operations, Dade County Schools, Georgia.

• Alan Miller, of Haleyville, department head, Counselor, Leadership & Special Education Department, Auburn University at Montgomery.

• Carlos Nelson, of Muscle Shoals, deputy superintendent, Sheffield City Schools.

• Charles (Randy) Shearouse, of Springfield, Georgia, superintendent, Effingham County Schools, Georgia.

• Tim Tubbs, of Killen, assistant superintendent, Lauderdale County Schools.

The AASB was hired to assist the school board in its search for a permanent superintendent.

Tom Sisk, the district’s superintendent since 2012, retired from the school system at the end of October to start a new job as director of schools with Bristol Tennessee City Schools.

The Limestone County board appointed Charles Michael “Mike” Owens, a former Limestone County Schools administrator and teacher, to be the system’s interim superintendent.

The Limestone County board agreed to schedule the public candidate interviews on Jan. 27, 28, 30 and Feb. 10 and 11. The finalists will also tour the school system and take part in an evening reception.

Bret McGill, the president of the school board, said he would like for a vote on a new superintendent to be on Feb. 18, but if not then, at the March board meeting.

“We’re not going to rush the process,” he said after the meeting.

“We want a strong leader,” McGill said. The school district needs a student-centered individual with integrity who can inspire teachers, he said, and someone with a strong background in career tech.

McGill said he is pleased that the candidates have principal and higher-level school administrative experience.

Karen DeLano, who represented the AASB and who retired last year as superintendent of Auburn City Schools, made the finalist presentation.

She told the board that more than 30 people were interested in the position and ultimately there were “25 viable applicants.”

She said the five finalists are “excited to be considered” for the superintendent job.

“A lot of people want to come to work for you,” she said.

marian.accardi@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_MAccardi.

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