The Madison Metropolitan School District has two finalists for the role of superintendent.

According to a Cap Times story from Thursday, June 25, Carol Kelley and Carlton Jenkins, from Illinois and Minnesota, respectively, will interview with the Madison Metropolitan Board of Education during the week of June 29.

Board president Gloria Reyes wrote in a news release announcing the two candidates the district was fortunate to have an “impressive” pool of highly qualified candidates to choose from.

“With a focus on how candidates aligned with the Leadership Profile, the Board was able to select two phenomenal finalists, both with deep roots in education and instruction,” Reyes wrote.

This is the district’s second time around with a superintendent search. Matthew Gutierrez, who was selected in the first search, rescinded his acceptance in March after COVID-19 created challenges for his school district in Sequin, Texas, that made him reconsider his departure.

Jane Belmore has been the interim superintendent of MMSD since Jennifer Cheatham announced her departure last August, when she resigned to take a position at Harvard in its education department.

During the second search, the district received 33 applications, according to the Cap Times story, from which Kelley and Jenkins were selected.

Kelley, who has been in education for 25 years, is currently the superintendent at Oak Park Elementary School District 97 in Illinois. Previously, she was the superintendent of Branch Township School District in New Jersey, the Cap Times story stated, as well as past roles in other districts including the director of curriculum and instruction, an elementary school principal, a middle school assistant principal and a classroom teacher.

Jenkins, who has held positions in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan, currently serves as the superintendent for the Robbinsdale School District in New Hope, Minnesota. In addition to his time as a superintendent, Jenkins has held titles including chief academic officer, principal, assistant principal and physical education/health teacher.

In addition to being interviewed by the board, the candidates will participate in a virtual “Day in the District,” which will allow for each candidate to meet students, staff and families online. Feedback will be provided to the board on the candidates from the virtual “Day in the District” sessions, of which have yet to be determined, to aid in the board’s decision.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​