The North Carolina school district with 138,000 students hopes to have a final choice by May. Cash is the only black finalist. The district population is 42 percent black and majority-minority overall.
The other finalists are the current superintendent in Reno, Nevada, and the chief academic officer for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district. The job has been vacant since June of last year.
Ann Doss Helms, a reporter covering the story for the Charlotte Observer, said there were 89 applicants. The field was narrowed to 8-12 finalists who were secretly interviewed at the Charlotte airport.
"I think the internal candidate has a chance," she said.
Gorman, she said, was initially popular and considered something of a "rock star" superintendent, but became less popular toward the end of his tenure. Gorman and three other representatives of the district visited Memphis to advise the Transition Planning Commission in December.