The Michigan Department of Education has announced that State Superintendent Brian Whiston passed away Monday night at the age of 56.
Whiston was appointed to the position in April 2015, and went on long-term disability leave less than a week before his death. His previous positions included Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools and Treasurer and President-Elect of the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association.
In a statement, State Board of Education Co-Presidents Casandra Ulbrich and Richard Zeile said, “Brian was a wonderful person who devoted his life to serving others. He was always focused on doing what is best for the children of Michigan. The vision he set forth to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years will endure. His leadership and talent established the dynamic strategies that will help all children in Michigan have the opportunity to learn and be prepared for success.”
Governor Rick Snyder added in a statement, "Brian’s dedication and work on behalf of all Michigan students and teachers was exemplary. He was an outstanding partner who understood that, just as teachers work every day to challenge their students to do better, we all need to challenge ourselves to do better for students."
Brian Whiston was on Stateside in March, where he discussed his vision for the future of education in Michigan as well as his thoughts on his then-impending medical leave. Listen here.