NORTH BEND — The North Bend School District has narrowed down its superintendent search to three candidates, selected from 26 applicants.

Outgoing Superintendent Bill Yester announced his departure last September, giving the district until the end of the school year to find a replacement. In a press release on Thursday, Feb. 21, the district announced that it has selected three candidates to interview for the vacancy.

Those candidates are Dr. Josh Middleton from Middleton, Idaho, Kevin Bogatin from Philomath, and Susan Penrod from Eugene.

Interviews begin next week on Monday, Feb. 25.

“Numerous stakeholder groups will have the opportunity to meet the final candidates and submit input to the board about each of them,” the release stated. “The board intends to make their selection by March 11, 2019.”

Each candidate will be available to answer questions from the public during meet-and-greets next week. Each forum begins at 4:30 p.m. and goes until 5:30 p.m.

The first forum is Monday, Feb. 25 with Middleton in the North Bend Hall of Champions. The second is Tuesday, Feb. 26 with Bogatin, also in the Hall of Champions.

The third is Wednesday, Feb. 27 with Penrod in the North Bend City Council Chambers.

“North Bend School District retained the services of McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. to assist in conducting their search,” the release said. “The consultants reviewed and screened twenty-six applicants.”

Semi-finalists were presented to the school’s Board of Directors on Wednesday, Feb. 20, where the final three were then chosen.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.