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Five choices in next week's primary for State Superintendent job

A former pediatric trauma nurse, a state deputy superintendent, a Principal of the Year and two professors are the candidates in next week's primary election for Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction.

The statewide vote set for Tuesday, Feb. 17, will trim the number of candidates from five to two.

Those two will proceed to the April 7 general election during which one will be elected to a four-year term to replace Elizabeth Burmaster, who has headed the Department of Public Instruction since 2001.

These are the candidates:

* Rose Fernandez, Mukwonago. Fernandez is president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual Schools. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. After completing her master's degree in pediatric nursing at UW-Madison she was named patient care manager of the Emergency Department Trauma Center of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

According to Fernandez's Web site,, she "defeated the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the Department of Public Instruction to save Wisconsin's virtual schools."

* Todd Price, Kenosha. Price is an associate professor of education at National-Louis University, based in Chicago. He holds a master's degree in guidance and counseling from UW-Stout and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from UW-Madison.

According to his Web site,, "Price has long advocated for teachers and students and supports putting the public back in public education."

He recently co-authored the book "The Myth and Reality of No Child Left Behind: Public Education and High Stakes Assessment."

* Van Mobley, Thiensville. Mobley is an associate professor at Concordia University Wisconsin. He holds a master's degree and a doctorate in history from UW-Madison and boasts that he helped pay for his graduate education by working as a loader at UPS.

"It is time to get back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic," says Mobley on his Web site, "What do children learn from the Internet if all they can do is look at the pictures?"

* Lowell E. Holtz, Beloit. Holtz has been a superintendent and principal since 1989, working in the Beloit, Palmyra-Eagle, Peshtigo and Cambridge areas. He was named Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal in 1999-2000.

Among his priorities are working with the new federal administration to modify unfunded mandates, focusing on economic issues and fiscal accountability and strengthening partnerships among the K-12 system, Wisconsin's technical college system and the University of Wisconsin System. Holtz's Web site is

* Tony Evers, Madison. Evers, the current deputy state superintendent of public instruction, is endorsed by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teacher's union.

Evers holds both master's and doctorate degrees from UW-Madison. He has worked over 34 years as a teacher, principal, superintendent, regional administrator and deputy state superintendent.

Evers lists fair and sustainable funding for education, safe and respectful schools and investment in innovation that works among his priorities. His Web site is

Contact Judy Wiff at or 715.426.1049.