The Santa Rosa School Board will consider 12 applicants for the superintendent's job in Sonoma County's largest school district.

The pool of contenders includes five school district superintendents and the remaining applicants are either assistant or associate superintendents.

"It's a strong field of candidates," said Wendell Chun, executive director of Educational Leadership Services, an Oakdale-based firm hired by the district to conduct the search.

He would not say Friday where applicants currently work, citing confidentiality. The deadline for submitting applications was Friday at 5 p.m.

Sharon Liddell, 65, announced her resignation effective June 30 last February after nine years with the district.

In March, the board approved a $23,500 contract with Educational Leadership Services to conduct the search for her successor.

The firm likely will recommend four to six candidates for the board to interview, Chun said. The board can create its own interview list if it differs from the recommendations of his firm, he said.

All candidates also will meet with a community advisory committee expected to be made up of teachers, school staff, community members and administrators. The committee will forward its recommendations to the full board.

The makeup of the committee is not yet established, said Mark Klick, assistant superintendent of human resources for the district.

"Of course the board will handle the final interviews and make the final decision," Klick said.

The first round of interviews is scheduled for June 1 with finalists returning on June 2, Chun said.

The earliest the board could approve a contract is June 13.

Liddell's current salary package is $179,500 annually, from which she pays her own medical benefits.