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The Charles County Board of Education announced Tuesday the three candidates for superintendent of the county’s public schools.

Superintendent James E. Richmond, who has been school superintendent for 17 years, announced last spring that he would not renew his contract when his term ends at the end of the 2013 school year.

The finalists for superintendent are Kimberly Hill, current principal of North Point High School in Waldorf; Jeanice Kerr Swift of Colorado Springs School District 11 in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Carey M. Wright of the District of Columbia public schools in Washington, D.C.

The school board opted earlier this year to use the Maryland Association of Boards of Education as a consultant during the search process. The search for superintendent was advertised nationwide.

According to information provided by the school system, the board received 24 applicants for the position, screened all applications, held two separate interview sessions and selected the finalists.

The finalists will participate in a series of focus group interviews the week of March 18, and Richmond’s successor will be announced April 9 during a regularly scheduled school board meeting.

Board members will meet next week to discuss the feedback and qualifications of superintendent finalists after focus groups meet.

“We feel we have selected highly qualified finalists for the position,” board Chairwoman Roberta S. Wise said.

Hill has 27 years experience as a teacher, vice principal and principal. She attended Charles County public schools and began her teaching career at Maurice J. McDonough High School in 1986.

As principal at North Point, Hill leads the system’s largest high school, which has more than 2,000 students. North Point has the highest graduation rate, GPA and attendance rate in the district, according to information from the school system.

Swift has spent 25 years as a classroom teacher, teacher coach, principal and district administrator. She serves as assistant superintendent for instruction, curriculum and student services in Colorado Springs School District 11, according to system officials.

Wright has more than 30 years of experience in education. She has served as chief academic officer for District of Columbia public schools since 2010. Prior to that, she served as the deputy chief for the Office of Teaching and Learning, providing leadership for prekindergarten through 12th-grade education by managing the offices of curriculum and instruction, early childhood education, secondary school transformation, bilingual education, out of school time, athletics, educational technology and library media services.

gphillips@somdnews.com