LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Five people have advanced to the next round of interviews in the search for the next Kentucky education commissioner.

The Kentucky Board of Education held a special-called meeting Tuesday at the Embassy Suites in Lexington to discuss additional information gathered on candidates and conduct one more interview, which was done in closed session.

Rebecca Blessing, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said the board voted to move the five candidates forward and extend second interviews to them, which will also be conducted Friday and Saturday at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.

Blessing said the five candidates represent both in-state and out-of-state educators. She said the state board also directed its search firm, Greenwood Asher & Associates, Inc., to contact the candidates and if there are no objections, the Kentucky Department of Education will release the names later in the week. 

However, the state board did not preclude adding additional candidates to the list, which will be decided at its meeting on Friday prior to the start of second round interviews.

The board previously conducted interviews of 12 candidates earlier this month. Since that time, background and reference checks have been conducted on the leading candidates.

Current Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is retiring at the end of August. The board has selected Associate Commissioner and General Counsel Kevin C. Brown to serve as interim commissioner starting Sept. 1 until a new commissioner can begin.

Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

Copyright 2015 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.