BURLINGTON — Once formally approved, Stephen Plank will be set to step into Peter Smet’s shoes as Burlington Area School District’s next superintendent starting July 1.
Plank is originally from Cudahy and has 23 years of experience as an educator, most recently serving as principal for Middleton-Cross Plains High School in Dane County.
“I am truly humbled and incredibly excited to have been selected to join the Burlington community and become a part of the Burlington Area School District team,” Plank said in a email. “I look forward to working with students, families, staff and the entire Burlington community as we continue to build on the great work being done on behalf of each and every student.”
Plank was chosen as one of three finalists who met with the BASD board, administrators and the general public on April 4.
“According to the feedback from the community forum, attendees felt a connection with him,” said School Board President Rosanne Hahn, who headed the search. “His positive energy will be a benefit to the district and community.”
Smet announced in January that he would retire June 30. The district contracted with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards’ Roger Foegen as a consultant for the search process. Twenty-three people applied for the position.
“We had an incredibly strong pool of candidates,” Hahn said. “Steve rose to the top because of his interest in children and their achievement.”
“A Milwaukee native, with family in the Burlington area, I am acutely aware of the great sense of pride within the community and am thrilled to become a small part of this wonderful tradition,” said Plank.
Plank has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He began his career as a band director before moving into administrative positions. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in educational leadership from UW-Milwaukee and a doctorate in administrative leadership from Loyola University in Chicago.
“Steve fits what the school board was looking for in its next superintendent,” Hahn said. “He has experience in many facets of education and possesses the skills needed to achieve what the School Board understands are priorities for the district.”
The School Board is scheduled to give final approval of Plank’s appointment at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the District Office, 100 N. Kane St.
The district serves students in kindergarten through high school in the City and Town of Burlington and portions of the Dover and Rochester in Racine County and in parts of the towns of Lyons, Spring Prairie and East Troy in Walworth County.
“I am truly humbled and incredibly excited to have been selected to join the Burlington community and become a part of the Burlington Area School District team ... I look forward to working with students, families, staff and the entire Burlington community as we continue to build on the great work being done on behalf of each and every student.” Stephen Plank, named as next BASD superintendent