PLAISTOW — The superintendent for the Timberlane Regional and Hampstead school districts is a finalist for the top job at a district in Massachusetts.

Dr. Earl Metzler is one of four finalists vying to become the next superintendent of the Hingham Public School District.

The district’s current superintendent is expected to retire at the end of the school year with a replacement hired for 2019-2020.

Hingham’s school committee plans to pick its new superintendent in January.

With the search process and finalists made public, Metzler said he realizes many people will wonder why he applied for the job.

“I’m not unhappy. I love the people. I love the work,” he said.

Metzler said the Hingham position would be an opportunity to lead one of the best school districts in Massachusetts.

“I’m honored to be considered,” he said.

Metzler is scheduled to visit Hingham on Dec. 10 to meet with members of the school community, parents and others before public interviews by the school committee.

Metzler became superintendent for School Administrative Unit 55, which serves Timberlane and Hampstead, in 2012.

Before taking the position, he was principal of North Quincy High School in Massachusetts and was a consultant for Mass Insight and the Massachusetts Department of Education. He has also served as principal, assistant principal, and a teacher at Sterling Middle School in Quincy, Mass.