The state Board of Education has narrowed to five its list of finalists to replace Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro at the end of this month.

They are Terry Adams, former superintendent at Rockwood and Wentzville, Douglas Hayter, superintendent at the Branson School District, C.J. Huff, superintendent at Joplin, Norman Ridder, interim superintendent at Mehlville and formerly at Springfield, and deputy education commissioner Margaret Vandeven.

The Board will meet next week to interview those candidates. They were selected from a field of 40 applicants and nominees.