The Nyssa School Board has narrowed the search for its next superintendent to two finalists.

District leaders named Dr. Darren Johnson, principal at Canyon Crest Elementary School in Provo, Utah, and Dr. Benjamin Merrill, principal at Middleton High School in Idaho, as the top two choices for the position.

Nyssa School Board Chairman Dave Bunker said the board received applications from 17 candidates. After an initial screening, Bunker said, board members interviewed six candidates on Tuesday and Wednesday in closed sessions before they narrowed the finalists down to Johnson and Merrill.

“These two stood out,” Bunker said. “Their experience, demeanor and the things that they wanted to do at Nyssa were in line with what the board wanted to see happen.”

The Nyssa School Board will vote on the new superintendent at its public meeting next Monday, March 25, Bunker said.

“Right now, we’re checking references, contacting their local schools, talking to people at the schools and their respective communities,” Bunker said.

After the final selection, the next step will be to negotiate the new superintendent's salary, Bunker said.

The new hire will succeed Superintendent Dr. Jana Iverson, who plans to resign at the end of this school year.