BURLINGTON — The list of 23 applicants for superintendent at the Burlington Area School District has been whittled down to three finalists.

Current superintendent Peter Smet announced earlier this year that he will retire on June 30.

The district has scheduled a meet-and-greet so that the general public can meet the candidates before the board selects the district’s next superintendent.

It is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m on Thursday, April 4, in the Burlington High School auditorium, 400 McCanna Parkway. Each candidate will have 45 minutes to introduce themselves and take questions from the general public.

While candidates are meeting with the general public, the School Board is scheduled to go into a closed session meeting at 5:45 that evening to interview and possibly select the next superintendent.

Mark Elworthy

The first candidate, scheduled to start at 6 p.m., is Dr. Mark Elworthy, the district administrator at the Whitewater Unified School District in Walworth and Jefferson counties.

According to Elworthy’s biography on the Whitewater district’s website, he is a lifelong Wisconsinite and the son of two educators. He grew up in Eau Claire, went to college at UW-La Crosse, received a master’s in natural resources and returned to Eau Claire to teach science at his alma mater. He also coached track and field and cross country at the middle, high school and university level at UW-Eau Claire.

Elworthy started his career in administration as an assistant principal and climbed up to district administrator at the Wisconsin Heights School District in western Dane County before joining Whitewater.

Stephen Plank

The second candidate is schedule for 6:50 p.m. that evening, Dr. Stephen Plank, is a high school principal at Middleton High School in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District.

According to a press release from when Plank was hired, he began his academic career as a band director at Marinette Middle School and Watertown High School before becoming the director of fine arts at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and from there moved into assistant principal and principal positions. Before his appointment in Middleton, Plank had been the principal at Lakes Community High School in Antioch, Illinois, and before that, had been the principal at Kenosha Bradford High School.

Martin McGinley

The final candidate, whose presentation is scheduled for 7:40 p.m is Dr. Martin McGinley, the district administrator at the Wheatland School District in western Kenosha County, just south of the Burlington area.

McGinley was assistant principal at Burlington High School from 2005 to 2007 and was principal at Karcher Middle School from 2007 to 2013, when he took his current position at Wheatland.

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Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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