Add To Favorites

Burlington school board appoints new member

The Journal Times - 3/2/2024

Mar. 2—BURLINGTON — The Burlington Area School District Board has chosen a new member.

Aubrey Thompson was appointed Feb. 19 and will replace Barry Schmaling, who resigned in January.

She will serve the remainder of Schmaling's three-year term that ends in April 2025.

Thompson was among eight candidates who were interviewed, and said she was pleased to be chosen and is "very grateful" for the opportunity.

"I think she's really well-qualified, and I know she's going to have the interests of students first and foremost," BASD Board President Peter Turke said. "It was a very difficult decision, because there were many other people who sought the appointment, and I appreciate that they were willing to step up and offer their services."

As a mental health professional and the mother of two elementary schoolers who attend BASD, Thompson believes she can provide a unique lens to the board.

Thompson is a clinical operations manager at Clinical Psychology Associates in Burlington.

She grew up in Burlington, graduated from Burlington High School and enjoyed the education and community. Thompson hopes to help provide similarly positive experiences for her children and BASD students.

The past week has "been a bit of a roller coaster" with highs and lows, Thompson said.

The day after she was appointed to the board, a BASD operational referendum failed, which presents significant financial challenges for the district.

The referendum result "put a bit of a damper on things," Thompson said. "That changes the outlook of where things are going in the community and the types of votes that I'll be engaging in."

Because the referendum failed, Thompson will soon have to vote on difficult topics for next school year such as eliminating 35-40 staff positions, closing an elementary school and changing the grade makeup of schools.

"Nobody wants to have to be making these decisions, and yet this is where we are as a community," Thompson said. "That's going to be really challenging, but also doing all of that work in a way where the community can feel heard and respected and like their opinions matter, even though, with the decisions coming up, there are limited options ... Even though we would love to make everybody happy with the choices that we have to make, there's not a way to do that."

Despite the challenges, Thompson looks forward to having a voice, learning more about the district and getting to know her fellow board members.

"I'm eager for the opportunity to serve the community in this way," Thompson said. "That's just something that is important to me and my family, to give back to the community that has given us a lot."


(c)2024 The Journal Times, Racine, Wisc.

Visit The Journal Times, Racine, Wisc. at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.