UNION CITY — The New Haven school board may be close to naming a new superintendent, now that it has whittled the field of candidates from 21 to six.

Two finalists are expected to meet with the board Saturday after the six candidates are vetted today by the trustees and by a panel composed of parents, district employees and other stakeholders, district spokesman Rick La Plante said.

It's unclear when trustees will go public with their choice.

"They could conceivably offer someone the job on the spot," La Plante said, adding, however, that he did not think the announcement would come Saturday.

The announcement could be postponed if, for example, trustees decide to visit a candidate's current district before offering the job, if a contract needed to be negotiated, or if the candidate needed additional time to consult with his or her family about the position.

Because of advice from the California School Boards Association, which the district hired to conduct its superintendent search, district employees are refusing to divulge any details about the candidates.

Ultimately, the board will select the two finalists, but it will take into consideration input from the Superintendent Selection Advisory Council. The 20-member panel is composed of the student board representative, seven parents, four teachers, four classified employees, three principals and the executive director of the New Haven Schools Foundation.

The new superintendent will replace Pat Jaurequi, who led the 13,000-student district from 2004 until late August, when she left to become schools chief of San Juan Unified in Sacramento County. David Pava, who was New Haven's deputy superintendent last year, has been serving as interim superintendent.

Reach Linh Tat at 510-353-7010 or ltat@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read her blog postings at www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat.