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MARBLE FALLS — It took a year, but the Marble Falls Independent School District board picked a finalist Thursday night as the potential new superintendent.

After more than three hours behind closed doors, the trustees emerged about 10:30 p.m. during a special session and announced Robert “Rob” O’Connor as the lone finalist for the superintendent position.

O’Connor runs the 2,000-student Celina Independent School District, which is about half the size of MFISD.

Marble Falls officials hope he can raise MFISD’s state ranking to “exemplary.”

“We came together in unity and consensus as a board in this selection,” said board President Rick Edwards. “Dr. O’Connor is an exciting and dynamic person. I do believe after going through 16 to 17 interviews and candidates, we’ve chosen the one best for Marble Falls to lead us in the direction we and the community want.”

O’Connor, who holds a doctorate in education, took over Celina ISD north of Dallas in the summer of 2007. Prior to that he served as the Whitewright ISD superintendent from 2005-2007.