Fresno Unified said interim Superintendent Bob Nelson is the finalist to lead the district on a permanent basis.
The announcement came via a Saturday night news release, just two days before a new school year begins.
“The board is pleased to announce Robert G. Nelson will continue in the process with hopes to approve the district’s next leader by Aug. 23,” the release stated. “Contract negotiations will presume as the final stage in the search process.”
There was a pool of 25 candidates to lead what is the fourth-largest school district in California. Nelson originally was seen as a short-term answer, though trustees in a rare unanimous decision opted in February to stick with him until a hire was made.
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Nelson has been filling in since Michael Hanson was terminated without cause in January. Hanson’s firing came shortly after he announced plans to step down amid a federal investigation of the district’s construction contracts – though he said the controversy did not influence his decision.
A 20-year veteran of the district including as Hanson’s chief of staff, Nelson previously served as superintendent of Chawanakee Unified in Madera County.