Wheeling Elementary District 21 school board members will conduct a marathon round of interviews Saturday, Nov. 11, with seven candidates for the superintendent job.

Search firm BWP and Associates collected some 45 applications for the position and winnowed those to seven to bring to the board, which will conduct the in-person interviews Saturday in closed session.

The board plans to pick finalists to bring back for another round of interviews, with the goal of making a selection by December or January, according to board President Phil Pritzker.

Board members met with officials from BWP and Associates in closed session Thursday night to prepare for the interview process. The board hired the firm for $18,500 to coordinate the nationwide search, develop a superintendent candidate profile, conduct focus groups and put together an online survey.

Superintendent Kate Hyland announced over the summer that she plans to retire after serving the remainder of her contract, which expires June 30, 2018. She was appointed superintendent in 2012 after serving as the district's associate superintendent for curriculum and learning.

District 21 has nine elementary schools, three middle schools and an early childhood school serving residents in portions of Wheeling, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Northbrook.