Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
LANSING Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today recognized late State Superintendent Brian Whiston’s dedication and service to the education community of Michigan by officially designating the state-owned fountain located on the Capitol Plaza in his honor.
Throughout his time as state superintendent of public instruction, Whiston led the Michigan Department of Education to keep a total focus on providing a quality education for every child in the state. He passed away in May 2018 from cancer.
“Brian dedicated his career to serving students and striving to make Michigan a Top 10 state for education,” Snyder said. “He was a great friend and partner who left an incredible impression on our educators, students and thought leaders, who continue to carry out his vision.”
Whiston, who was named Michigan Superintendent of the Year in 2014 while serving in Dearborn Public Schools, was a tireless advocate and driving force in the adoption and early implementation of the Marshall Plan for Talent and Career Pathways Alliance.
“I know that Brian’s family, and our family here at the Michigan Department of Education want to thank the Governor for honoring Brian in such an indelible way,” said Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “This fountain is a tribute to Brian’s public service and a constant reminder to us of his ideal that every child is valued and will achieve success.”
Prior to his appointment as state superintendent, Whiston spent 17 years as a local school board member, holding the position of treasurer and president-elect of the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association. He served as the director of government and community services for the Oakland County Intermediate School District. He also was the superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools – the third largest school district in Michigan – where his innovation and collaboration led the way in improving student achievement.
In recognition of his commitment to the education of Michigan’s students, Executive Order 2018-8 mandates that the state-owned fountain structure, on the Capital Plaza between the John A. Hannah Building and the Ottawa Building, will be known as the “Brian J. Whiston Memorial Fountain.”