State Superintendent Whiston Takes Leave To Attend To Health Issues

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

May 4, 2018

LANSING – State Superintendent Brian Whiston informed the State Board of Education that he will be taking a Long-Term Disability Leave, effective today.

Diagnosed with cancer late last year, Whiston has been receiving medical treatments while continuing to run the Michigan Department of Education.

“My doctors have advised me to step back for now and concentrate on my medical care,” Whiston said. “It is difficult for me to take a leave at this important time in leading the education resurgence in Michigan, but it is the best course to take for my health and my family.”

While on this Long-Term Disability Leave, Whiston has delegated Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles to oversee the operations of the Michigan Department of Education and continue his devoted efforts to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years.

Appointed State Superintendent by the State Board of Education in April 2015, Whiston has worked closely with the State Board of Education, Governor Snyder, the state legislature, and education stakeholders over the past three years to develop dynamic strategies to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years. Many of the strategies to meet that goal have been put into action, with more work to be done.

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