The search for Darien's next schools chief has been extended.

"At this time, we have been unable to identify a candidate that is of the caliber to meet the Darien school district's needs," Board of Education Chairman Betsy Hagerty-Ross announced Tuesday night. "The decision necessitated the board to identify other alternatives since the window for attracting top candidates for the 2014-15 school year has closed."

After "much urging and discussion," interim Superintendent Lynne Pierson will continue in the role until a permanent superintendent is named or until June 30, 2015, Hagerty-Ross said.

Pierson was hired in November following Superintendent Stephen Falcone's resignation the previous month. Falcone had received criticism after the state Department of Education's report found that special education law had been violated on numerous occasions during the 2012-13 school year.

In December, the Board of Education secured the services of the New England School Development Council to assist in the superintendent candidate search. The search for a new superintendent was anticipated to take 120 days, according to BOE Vice Chairman Heather Shea, who also serves as the search committee chairman.

The position will be reposted on the NESDEC website at the end of the summer.; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews