SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Sioux City Community School District has announced the two finalists for the school district’s superintendent.

The two are Dr. Rod Earleywine and Dr. Geovanny Ponce, the district announced Thursday in a release. The one selected as superintendent will assume his position for the 2023-2024 school year.

Earleywine currently serves as the interim superintendent of the Sioux City school district. He took the role in July 2022 after former Superintendent Paul Gausman went to work at Lincoln, Nebraska’s school district.

Before being interim superintendent at Sioux City, Earleywine was the superintendent for the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District. The Sergeant Bluff-Luton school district was one of two schools in the state of Iowa to receive a 2018 National Blue Ribbon High School of Excellence. The release also states that Earleywine helped students earn college credits and increase the number of career options.

Earleywine served as the Sergeant Bluff-Luton school district’s middle school principal before he was superintendent. He also has experience teaching high school social studies and elementary physical education and coaching at the high school level.

Earleywine earned a doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. He also has a specialist degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s degree in education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Ponce is currently the assistant superintendent of high schools for the Houston Independent School District. The release states that he helped the district to implement campus support plans to increase post-secondary opportunities for students. He also is credited with helping increase student industry-based certifications and improving graduation rates. The Houston Independent School District was also recognized for having some of the nation’s top high schools by US News and World Report.

Ponce served as a an area superintendent and middle and high school principal in Houston before his assistant superintendent role. He started his education career in Houston as a campus curriculum technologist and bilingual teacher.

Ponce earned a doctorate in public school administration from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Before that, he also earned a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The district will be hosting public forums for both Ponce and Earleywine on Wednesday, January 25. The forums will be held at the North High School media center at 4200 Cheyenne Boulevard. Earleywine will take questions from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. while Ponce will be there from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The forums will also be available to watch online through Microsoft Teams. The school will provide a link on the superintendent search section of the school district’s website.

The Sioux City Community School District Board said it expects to announce the new superintendent in late January or early February.