And then there were three.

                The Vermilion Board of Education left its November 10 meeting with a stack full of applicants wanting to be the next superintendent of schools. The board held executive sessions on Nov. 17, 18, and Dec. 1, and is now holding what is to be its final executive session, slated for today, Dec. 2. Board President Sarah Stepp said hopefully, fingers crossed, and final candidate will be ready for the board’s Dec. 13 regular meeting.

                Stepp said the final three candidates are scheduled to interview today during the board’s executive session. After the interviews, “We’ll probably do some more digging, checking backgrounds, all that we already started, and it depends on how the interviews go. We would like to have a decision by the Dec. 13 board meeting.”

                Stepp added, “I truly feel we have three amazing candidates.” Stepp would not reveal where the candidates are from, citing the confidentiality of those candidates. Supt. Phil Pempin will continue on to help with the transition until the end of the school year. “He’s a very difficult person to replace,” said Stepp of Pempin. “I feel like everything about him is top notch. We’ve been really careful.” She said after the latest round of interviews, “I said I feel really good. We all did. I feel we’re all really happy with the last three.”

                The search is being conducted with the help of the North Point Educational Service Center in Sandusky. North Point Superintendent Doug Crooks said the center covers four counties – Erie, Huron, Ottawa, and Sandusky, and offers its clients assistance at no cost. Crooks said the center posts the job throughout the State of Ohio, and gathers all the application materials, then turns it over to boards of education. “We don’t vet any candidates. We just present them. They decide who they’re going to choose.”

                Stepp said Crooks came in for a day and asked the representation from the district’s unions for feedback. The Vermilion Teachers Association sent a survey to its members. “We got a list of 200 things.” Stepp said the board went through all of those responses. “They are the ones working in the district. They know what we need, what’s good, what needs to be improved.”

                Crooks said in total there were 23 applicants for the Vermilion position. “We don’t influence the board’s decision as to who they should hire. It’s always interesting to see who comes up and is the choice.” As for the Vermilion Board of Education, Crooks said, “They are really doing their homework. They are doing a good job.”

                North Point is a regional educational services provider that supports and assists 27 school systems and over thirty-eight thousand (38,000) students in north central Ohio. Its services include special education programs, pupil auxiliary support, school improvement assistance, early childhood programs, gifted education programs, professional development activities, alternative education options, parent education programs, administrative consultation, curriculum development, school data analysis, and student attendance monitoring.

                The last time the board used its services to hire an employee was when it hired current treasurer, Justin Klingshirn, said Crooks.