By Dave Fidlin


With a target announcement set for May 1, officials in the Whitewater Unified School District are ramping up efforts to seek out the next superintendent.

The WUSD School Board on Feb. 24 discussed the latest steps in seeking out a long-term successor to Mark Elworthy, who resigned in October to assume a position in suburban Milwaukee. Jim Shaw has been serving as the district administrator on an interim basis this school year.

At the most recent regular meeting, School Board President Casey Judd confirmed interviews with all candidates have been completed, and the process of whittling down the applicant pool is underway.

A six-person committee has been overseeing the initial phases of the interview process and has been tasked with bringing finalists to the School Board for further consideration.

The most recent School Board meeting also served a platform to continue discussing the desired qualifications of the district’s next superintendent.

Resident Andrew Crone, who specializes in social and emotional learning, discussed his recent experience at a robotics competition. The experience, Crone said, showcased top-tier talent throughout the region.

Proponents of robotics programs commonly point to the emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, which have been seen as important backbone to jobs of the future.

“To see what they did — it blew me away,” Crone said, adding that he hopes views of Whitewater’s own robotics team expand and evolve as new leadership is brought into the fold.

Ultimately, Crone said he hopes robotics in Whitewater grows from being an extra-curricular activity to “a districtwide, cultural way of being.

“We need to find someone who inspires all of you,” Crone said to the School Board, “all of the principals, all of the teachers, all of the students.”

Judd, in acknowledging Crone’s comments, said there are multiple factors to take into account in choosing the district’s next leader for the 2020-21 school year.

“We all have an idea of who we want as a superintendent,” Judd said. “We all know what we want — that’s the hard part.”

Based on the timeline, screening interviews of candidates will begin next Monday, March 16, and continue through April 1. From there, a slate of finalists will be presented to the School Board on April 6.

During the recent School Board discussion, several members said they would like a rationale of why a candidate was or was not chosen as a finalist.

The School Board is slated to interview committee-selected finalists from April 7-21. On or around April 27, the goal is to have another round of finalist interviews and name the candidate by May 1 for public announcement.

The chosen candidate would be expected to begin his or her duties July 1 — the first day of WUSD’s new fiscal period for the upcoming school year.


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