LAS VEGAS — Public interviews got underway last week for four semifinalists being considered for Nevada superintendent of public instruction.

The state Board of Education interviewed contestants during an open meeting in Las Vegas and will recommend three names to Gov. Brian Sandoval, who will make the final appointment.

The candidates are:

• Rorie Fitzpatrick, who was named interim superintendent after the abrupt resignation in March of James Guthrie, who left after a year on the job in the midst of the legislative session. Previously, Fitzpatrick was deputy superintendent and represented the Department of Education throughout the legislative session.

• Dale Erquiaga, a former senior adviser to Sandoval who left the administration in 2012. Previously, he was a deputy secretary of state and former government affairs director for the Clark County School District. He is currently interim executive director of the Arizona Humane Society.

• Rene Cantu Jr., executive director of the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s Community Foundation. He was one of three finalists for the state superintendent’s job last year and served briefly on the Clark County School Board to fill a vacancy.

• Michael Sentence, a former secretary of education in Massachusetts and former assistant attorney general in that state. The upcoming choice will mark the second superintendent appointment by Sandoval, who was given authority in 2011 to name the state’s top school chief. Before the 2011 legislative session, superintendents were appointed by the state Board of Education.