HARTFORD — Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, whose contract with the city schools expires at the end of June, has been named a finalist for the superintendent's job in Gilbert, Ariz., according to local media reports.
The Arizona Republic reported that 82 people applied for the position and that the governing board for Gilbert schools, a 39,000-student district southeast of Phoenix, planned to make its decision soon.
The Republic reported early Wednesday that Kishimoto was announced as the board's choice after a split board vote and contentious public meeting in Gilbert that began Tuesday night.
Kishimoto and another finalist, Philip Hickman, an assistant superintendent for the Houston Independent School District in Texas, had interviewed with the board through a remote connection Monday, according to the newspaper.
It was unclear whether Kishimoto would leave Hartford earlier than June 30 if hired to become Gilbert's superintendent. She declined to comment this week on being a finalist.
Gilbert's interim schools chief for the 2013-14 year recently gave 30 days' notice of his resignation, according to The Republic.
Hartford is conducting its own superintendent search after the city school board rejected Kishimoto's request for a contract extension last June. The board cited communication problems and frustration over the pace of reform when turning down Kishimoto, 44, who was an assistant superintendent before ascending to the top job in 2011.
Ray and Associates Inc. of Iowa — hired for $24,000 to lead Hartford's search and identify top candidates by the end of March — is also the firm that listed the Gilbert public schools vacancy.
Hartford's application deadline is March 5. The school board is offering a salary in the range of $250,000 to Kishimoto's successor.