Ketchikan’s school board meets in closed session in the Ketchikan High School library in March. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Ketchikan’s school board says it’s pausing its search for a new superintendent. After the board went through 12 applications for the district’s top position, Board Vice President Diane Gubatayao said the board couldn’t select three standouts to interview.

“It was the board’s consensus decision that we are unable to move forward with three top candidates from the current pool of applicants. The board desires to have a competitive public process that can best be achieved by reopening the application process in the fall,” she said.

That means interim Superintendent Melissa Johnson will continue to helm the district as it begins the 2021-2022 school year.

The board has yet to release any information about the dozen applicants. Gubatayao said during Thursday’s meeting that the board is currently barred from sharing even their names. She says that’s because the search was conducted by an outside nonprofit, the Association of Alaska School Boards.

“At this time, right at this time right now, today, the information of all the applicants is … property of AASB. So for the board to release this information would require a formal letter to AASB making this such a request,” Gubatayao said.

Gubatayao is also on AASB’s board of directors.

The board directed district officials to ask the AASB to release the applicants’ names. As of Friday afternoon, that hasn’t happened.