- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Five finalists are vying to be chosen as the next Missouri commissioner of education.

The State Board of Education this week announced the list of candidates to replace Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

Former Rockwood and Wentzville Superintendent Terry Adams of Lake St. Louis; Branson Superintendent Douglas Hayter of Walnut Shade; Joplin Superintendent Charles Huff of Joplin and interim Mehlville School District Superintendent Norman Ridder of Imperial are among the finalists.

Deputy Commissioner of Education Margaret Vandeven also is a candidate.

Nicastro will resign at the end of the year, ending a five-year tenure marked by criticism as the state adopted new school accreditation standards and dealt with struggling districts.

Board members will interview the finalists next week in Jefferson City.

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