By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

Mark Elworthy, district administrator of the Whitewater Unified School District, has been named one of three superintendent finalists at Burlington Area School District.

Elworthy, along with two others, will look to replace Peter Smet, who announced his retirement in January, effective July 1, after he served the district for 30 years.

The BASD Board of Education, which received 23 applications for the post, interviewed six candidates before narrowing the field to three after a March 19 closed session.

President Rosanne Hahn of the Board of Education said the screening process was difficult because of a strong applicant pool.

“The pool of candidates were excellent and it took awhile to narrow it down,” she said.

In addition to Elworthy, other candidates up for consideration are Marty McGinley, the district administrator of Wheatland J1 School District, and Stephen Plank, a high school principal in the Middleton Cross-Plains Area School District.

The three applicants will appear at an April 4 Meet and Greet session, where each will be given 45 minutes to introduce themselves and answer questions, according to a news release.

“It is important that we involve community members in the process,” Hahn said. “The board will take the public’s feedback into consideration before making a decision.”

The School Board hired search consultant Roger Foegen, of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, to assist the district.

Officials hope to decide on Smet’s replacement by mid-April.

Smet said his retirement comes at the right time for him and his family, along with the district itself.

“Our facilities are poised to be in the best shape they have ever been in with the work that will be completed over the next three years,” he wrote in a letter to the district in January.

Smet has been with the district since 1988 and became superintendent in 2012 after holding positions as vocational program coordinator and assistant superintendent-businesses services.


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