After reopening its search because it didn’t find the right candidate, the Cape Elizabeth School Board now has two finalists for the job of superintendent.

“I’m hoping next week we’ll have something to announce,” board Chairwoman Mary Townsend said Thursday.

She said school officials are not publicly naming the finalists.

“We were looking for strong leadership qualities, a visionary,” Townsend said. “I think they are both high-quality candidates with strengths that would serve the district very well.”

The district will be replacing Alan Hawkins, who retired in December after serving as superintendent for five years. Ken Murphy, a retired superintendent for Yarmouth schools, has been Cape Elizabeth’s interim superintendent since Hawkins left.

Murphy did not apply for the superintendent job, Townsend said.

The new hire is expected to start the job July 1.

The search has cost about $21,000, including advertising and a $12,000 fee for a consultant, Jackie Roy of J.A. Roy Associates, based in Dennisport, Mass.

The first round of the search drew 15 candidates from nine states. Roy assisted the town’s 11-member ad hoc Superintendent Credentials Review Committee. After interviewing semifinalists in March, the committee decided to open the search again.

“We got down to a couple of candidates, and they didn’t work out for a couple of different reasons,” said Roy, who helped with the second search for no additional fee. “We decided to reopen and move along very quickly.

“They are one of the top-performing districts in the state of Maine, and they are certainly looking to stay on that trajectory,” Roy said.

The new superintendent will inherit a $21 million budget, up 2.2 percent over this year’s budget.

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at:

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