DENVER – The Denver Public Schools announced three finalists for the open position of superintendent of the district on Friday.

Alex Marrero, Stephanie Soliven, and Andre Wright will now interview with students, teachers, and other district workers

Marrero is the deputy superintendent in the New Rochelle neighborhood of New York. Soliven is the deputy superintendent for the Brevard County, Florida. Wright is the Academic Director of Aurora Public Schools.

The three finalists were selected from a pool of 85 applicants. About 20 were interviewed with the district and 15 with the education committee.

“This is a moment of optimism and excitement about the future of Denver,” said CEO Carrie Olson in a statement. “We have reached an important milestone in the search for a visionary leader for our district.”

Elizabeth Burciaga, a youth organizer at Padres Y J√≥venes Unidos, said students and families would feel encouraged when the DPS superintendent’s finalists are both Latinx and Black. The most important issues that the next superintendent should deal with include: “Conducting ethnic and cultural studies, the curriculum that represents the student body, the obligation to protect immigrant students and refugees and their families, and the continuation of a police-free school”.

Denver has been looking for a superintendent for months after Susana Cordova left last semester to join the Dallas Independent School District in Texas as assistant superintendent.