By Luke Hegdal
HERMISTON The Hermiston School Board kept late hours last week as they interviewed the top three candidates for the position of Hermiston School District superintendent.
The candidates, Dr. Dennis Carter, Romauldo Castilleja, and Dr. Fred Maiocco are a diverse group and that has made the selection process more difficult, according to board member Don Rankin.
Carter is currently the superintendent of the Ontario, Oregon, School District, and has been an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark College and Washington State University.
Carter has also been superintendent of four other school districts in both Oregon and Washington, and has been involved in education since 1969.
Castilleja is currently the executive director of Secondary Education/Student Services at the Richland School District in Washington.
Castilleja received a master's degree in mathematics from Central Washington University, and a bachelor of arts in education from Eastern Washington University.
Maiocco is currently the superintendent of Madison School District in Phoenix, Ariz.
Maiocco graduated from WSU with a doctorate of philosophy and a master's of business administration. He earned a bachelor of science in political science from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.
His employment history includes management of a log home company and director of transportation services at Issaquah School District in Washington.
In addition to a formal interview process with the school board, each candidate spent time in the district, talking with teachers and students.
There were also opportunities for the public to speak with the candidates during community sessions held prior to the formal interviews.
Community members asked the candidates questions ranging from all-day kindergarten to charter schools.
School Board Chairman Phil Hamm said that the board selected a favorite on Friday.
"We will be doing an onsite visit (with the candidate)," Hamm said. "We have a lot of checking to do. These were top candidates all."
Hamm said there is still a lot of work to be done before the board can make an announcement about who the new superintendent will be.