The Keokuk School Board could hire a new superintendent as early as this weekend.
The panel will interview six candidates during special meetings on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
The school district will not identify the finalists. The meetings will also be off-limits to the public per agreements between the candidates and the firm handling the search process.
The district received more than 40 applications.
The search firm, Ray & Associates out of Cedar Rapids, presented the school board with nine candidates during a special, closed door meeting held earlier this week.
That private discussion resulted in the list of six finalists.
President Tyler McGhghy says if the board feels it has a candidate who is a perfect fit after the Saturday interviews, a contract could be offered.
He says there is also a chance, though, that a second round of interviews with the top candidates could be required.
McGhghy says the board wants to have a new superintendent in place by the start of the school year, which is just a couple weeks ago. The salary for the new employee is expected to be around $150,000.
Current Superintendent Lora Wolff is stepping down to take a job at Western Illinois University.