WHITEWATER — Whitewater Unified School District Superintendent Mark Elworthy has been named interim superintendent for the St. Francis School District.

Elworthy, who joined the Whitewater district in 2016, will start in the new position in the district south of Milwaukee part time on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and full time Monday, Oct. 28, a news release from the St. Francis School District states.

Interviews for St. Francis’ interim position were held at a special meeting Sept. 30, according to the release. The district’s school board picked Elworthy at its meeting Monday.

Earlier this year, Elworthy was a finalist for superintendent positions in Burlington and Onalaska, but those districts hired other candidates.

Elworthy came under criticism in recent months related to the departure of the district’s athletic director, Jim Pease, who said he was forced out over a disagreement with Elworthy over funding repairs for the gymnastics team’s floor. Documents show the district denied allegations Pease and his attorney made.

Further details on Elworthy’s status in Whitewater were not immediately clear late Tuesday night, and an attempt to reach Elworthy was unsuccessful.

“The St. Francis Board of Education believes that his educational experiences in different leadership capacities will be helpful in leading the St. Francis School District into the future as we continue to serve the educational needs of students,” the release states. “With the timely completion of this search, the Board believes that a smooth leadership transition will occur to further ensure educational stability for the students and staff in the St. Francis School District.”

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