• WisPolitics


Sunday, February 1, 2009

 3:32 PM 

Five vie for DPI superintendent

An education professor, the Beloit school superintendent and a virtual schools advocate have jumped into the race for the state's top education post, joining the current DPI deputy secretary and a history professor in a five-way primary Feb. 17.

The top two vote-getters will advance to the April 7 general election to replace Libby Burmaster, who decided not to seek re-election after two terms in the office.

Burmaster has endorsed DPI Deputy Superintendent Tony Evers, who ran for the post in 2001 and has served as Burmaster's deputy superintendent for her two terms. He is viewed by insiders as the establishment candidate, and told WisPolitics last year that his stint as Burmaster's No. 2 has made him even more qualified than he was in his initial run.

Concordia University professor Van Mobley and former Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families president Rose Fernandez are right-leaning challengers.

Mobley, a history professor at Concordia University in Mequon and a member of the Thiensville Village Board, said last year that Burmaster has been a passive superintendent.

Fernandez, of Mukwonago, is a nurse and small business owner who resigned her position as president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families to run for the post. She was a vocal proponent of virtual schools as lawmakers tried to hammer out an agreement last spring to keep them open after a judge ruled a district's virtual schools didn't comply with state law.

Price and Holtz are political unknowns.

Price, an associate professor in the educational foundations and inquiry department at National-Louis University in Kenosha, has been associated with the Green Party the last several years but has never held public office.

Holtz, the superintendent for Beloit's school system, touts his experience as a principal in small, rural communities, as a superintendent in northern Wisconsin, his work in medium-sized urban districts and even the five years he spent as a police officer in Whitewater.

See more on the race, including WisPolitics interviews with all five primary candidates:
http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=145440

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