By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN —Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston was offered the State Board of Education superintendent position March 18.
The board voted 7-1 to choose Whiston after two days of interviews.
The search for a new state superintendent came after current state Supt. Mike Flanagan announced he is retiring on July 1. Flanagan held the position for 10 years.
The process began on March 3 when Whiston was chosen as one of six semifinalists from 54 applicants.
On March 11 the State Board of Education conducted interviews and narrowed the list of six semifinalists to three.
Oakland Schools Supt. Vickie Markavitch and Washtenaw Intermediate School District Supt. Scott Menzel were among the final three.
Next, the board will meet with Whiston to complete contract negotiations.
Getting the news he was offered the position was bittersweet for Whiston.
“I was very happy and sad at the same time because I am blessed to be in Dearborn with a great community and staff,” he said.
Whiston said he is planning to take the accomplishments he has achieved in Dearborn with him to the state level.
“The first step will be to get with the board and develop a plan including holding school districts accountable, how funds are generated and how to raise the achievements of students,” he said.
Whiston is no stranger to the idea as he was named State Superintendent of the Year in last year. His contract with the district runs through the end of the 2016-17 school year.
Whiston joined the Dearborn Public Schools in 2008 developing award-winning programs for students and passing a $70 million bond proposal for infrastructure needs.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])