After Debbie Hines announced she will retire from the Stephenville Independent School District after 28 years of service, applications from those wanting to take over her role as the district’s assistant superintendent for personnel and instruction poured in to the central administration office.

According to Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd, a total of 63 individuals applied for the position.

“We had 63 highly qualified applicants,” Floyd said. “The number of applicants is about what I expected for such a high profile position.”

After combing through the applications, a total of six semi-finalists were chosen and then interviewed by an interview committee Friday. The committee consisted of Floyd; school board president Dr. Ann Calahan, board secretary Oral Lee Leeth, Assistant Superintendent for Business/Finance Tracy Ray, Special Education Director Donna Gordon, Director of Technology/Advanced Academics Karol Howell, and Director of Special Programs Xavier Vasquez.

“We interviewed two internal applicants, Stephenville High School Principal Travis Stilwell and Central Elementary Principal Judy Walker,” Floyd said. “There were four external applicants that included a 1A superintendent, a 3A assistant superintendent, a 4A assistant superintendent, and a 5A director.”

Floyd said the hiring committee hopes to have the six narrowed down to a lone finalist by Monday night to present to the school board for approval. Although Floyd would not comment on the identity of the external applicants, he did say that that the committee had a group of quality applicants to interview.

“This is a key, upper level administrative position that is crucial to the continued success of this district,” Floyd said. “I was very pleased with the skills and abilities of all candidates interviewed.”

Finally, Floyd gave thanks to the interview committee’s time and commitment in narrowing the field of applicants.

“I am confident that the lone finalist will help us make a smooth transition and help us continue the long-standing tradition of excellence in the SISD.”