State Superintendent Whiston To Take Leave To Attend To Health Issues

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

March 14, 2018

LANSING – Following his positive annual performance evaluation by the State Board of Education today, State Superintendent Brian Whiston informed the Board that he will be taking a Long Term Disability leave in 30-60 days to attend to his health.

Whiston, appointed State Superintendent by the State Board in April 2015, was diagnosed with cancer late last year. He has been receiving medical treatments since then, while continuing to run the Michigan Department of Education. He told the State Board today that he will continue to lead the Department for the next 30-60 days, depending on his medical treatments.

“We have worked with the State Board, Governor Snyder, the legislature, and education stakeholders over the past three years to develop dynamic strategies to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years,” Whiston said. “We have begun setting those strategies into motion and I believe Michigan’s public schools will rise up and meet that goal.

“It has been my humble honor to be given the responsibilities of State Superintendent and will continue to do what I can to keep Michigan moving forward.”

The State Board earlier today gave Whiston a rating of Outstanding on his annual evaluation, and as is its custom, extended his contract by one year.

“We appreciate the vision that he has set for the Department of Education, and the goals he has set for the Top 10 in 10 that were established with multiple entities and organizations,” said State Board Co-President Casandra Ulbrich. “It takes true leadership, true talent, to be able to establish something as important as a vision and a list of goals that go with that vision; and to get literally everyone on board at every level of the organization to encompass their work around that vision and those goals.”