Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Justin Robertson, right, has scored highest so far among five candidates in the running for superintendent of Hamilton County Schools.

The Hamilton County Board of Education on Thursday narrowed a pool of applicants to five candidates for a new superintendent.

The candidates include one Hamilton County Schools employee, interim Deputy Superintendent Justin Robertson.

The four other candidates are:

— Natalie McClarty, former director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at Stamford Public Schools in Connecticut.

— Jim McIntyre, director of the Center of Educational Leadership and assistant professor of practice at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

— Christopher Bernier, chief of staff of Clark County Schools in Nevada.

— John Tucker, superintendent of Camden County Schools in Georgia.

Board members scored each candidate on a score of 0-5, said board chairman Tucker McClendon of East Ridge, with the top five receiving the highest scores. Robertson scored the highest among the board members at 43, McClarty with 28.5, McIntyre at 28, and Bernier and Tucker tied at 26.

McClendon provided a tentative timeline for the rest of the process. The board will meet Nov. 8 to review a report on the candidates and narrow the pool to three candidates. From Nov. 15 to Dec. 7, the three candidates will visit the school district, and the board will vote on a superintendent at its meeting Dec. 9.

Earlier this month, the board unanimously approved the job description for the superintendent role and selected superintendent search firm Buffkin/Baker to conduct the search in September.

Community members can provide input on the search process, including candidate qualifications and feedback to the school board, in a form on the district's website.

The selected candidate will replace Bryan Johnson, who took a leadership role at trucking and logistics business U.S. Xpress in August.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at or 423-757-6592.