The Inver Grove Heights school board has narrowed the field of superintendent candidates down to two finalists to return for a final interview.

David W. Bernhardson, who recently resigned from his position as assistant superintendent of South Washington County Public schools, and John Bezek, currently the assistant superintendent of Shakopee Public Schools, are their top two choices.

A decision is expected Thursday evening, according to board member Cindy Nordstrom.

According to a district statement, "All candidates were strong and had positive superintendent skills, these two just seemed to fit the district more closely."

Bezek's final meet-and-greet and school board interview was Wednesday, and Bernardson's is Thursday, May 1. The meet-and-greet is at 5 p.m. at Cahill Court cafeteria, 2920 80th St. E., Inver Grove Heights. A final interview by the school board will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the District Office, 2990 80th St. E., Inver Grove Heights.

Before his assistant superintendent role with the South Washington County district, Bernhardson was a principal at Inver Grove Elementary in the Inver Grove Heights district from 1998 to 1999, just before the closure of the building. He then took a position with South Washington County as principal of Woodbury Elementary from 1999 to 2006. Prior to those administrative positions, he was a teacher in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district.

Before going to Shakopee, Bezek, a lifelong Inver Grove Heights resident, was a principal at Tartan High School for nine years. While there, he was named High School Principal of the Year in 2012 by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. He also worked at Park High School in the South Washington County district from 1995 to 2003 as a guidance counselor and assistant principal. He began his career as a coach and teacher in Littlefork Big Falls, Minn.

One of the candidates will replace Superintendent Deirdre Wells, who is resigning at the end of June after nine years in that role.