Connie Newman. (Alaska Association of School Districts website)

Connie Newman. (Alaska Association of School Districts website)

One of the three finalists in the Haines superintendent search has withdrawn his candidacy.

Tom Yahraes, CEO of Discovery Academy in Big Sky, Montana withdrew from the superintendent search Friday morning. He was one of three people the Haines School Board chose for further interviews after talking to six semi-finalists Wednesday.

Connie Newman, superintendent of Pribilof Island School District based in St. Paul, Alaska, will take his place as a finalist. Newman was superintendent for three years in Chatham School District, which includes Klukwan but is based in Angoon. She has more than a dozen years of experience as a superintendent for small Alaska school districts.

In her Skype interview with the school board Wednesday, Newman said she was proud of her work with the Pribilof District’s budget.

“We have been able to look down the long road and make those tough choices and still protect the integrity of the programs that we deliver to the kids,” she said. “And yet reduce where we can that was not directly related to services for kids. So I guess my legacy would be that we have a budget that’s fiscally sound.”

The other two finalists for the job are Yakutat Superintendent Robin Gray and Paw Paw, Michigan Superintendent Anthony Habra. Newman, Gray and Habra plan to visit Haines for in-person interviews and a community forum Feb. 23 and 24.