The St. Paul School District is getting closer to naming its next superintendent.

On March 23, the district plans to release the names of three finalists, according to a schedule of events announced by the district this week.

On March 29, a community event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Washington Technology Magnet School, 1495 Rice St., to allow the public a chance to meet the candidates.

The school board then has tentative plans to interview the finalists on March 30, although that date could be changed subject to board approval.

Still to be determined is the day on which the board will make its final decision.

Also this week, the district released the results of a second survey detailing the five qualities deemed most important in the next superintendent. Earlier, officials had asked people to identify 10 top qualities, which then were used to come up with a candidate profile for application purposes.

The second survey drew 2,171 responses, and cites a need for a leader who:

* Is willing to consider different perspectives before making decisions.

* Demonstrates a deep understanding of racial equity and how it impacts teaching practices and student learning.

* Is strongly committed to putting students first in all decisions.

* Is a strong communicator; speaking, listening and writing.

* Has a long history in education with direct student experience.

The desire for someone who has a long history of working directly with students was not part of the previous Top 10 list. Among the qualities that did not make the final cut included the need for someone with a demonstrated ability to work with community groups and for a person who is not afraid to make challenging decisions that may not be popular with everyone.

There had been 31 options to choose from initially.

The district is seeking a permanent replacement for former Superintendent Valeria Silva, who was ousted by the board last summer. John Thein now serves as interim leader.