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State Board of Education names deputy as interim superintendent

Michigan Dept of Education

The state Board of Education has named an interim replacement for state schools superintendent Brian Whiston, who died suddenly this week.  

Before he left on disability leave last week, Brian Whiston named chief deputy superintendent Sheila Alles to act in his place. He died of cancer on Monday.

Today, Board of Education members voted to name Alles as Whiston’s interim replacement.

Members of the Board of Education struggled Tuesday to decide whether they had the authority to name an interim superintendent.

A department spokesman says Michigan law prohibits the State Board from hiring a state superintendent six months prior and two months after a general election. The board discussed the possibility of beginning the early steps of the process.

The search process for a permanent replacement is further complicated by the November election, since two of the eight board seats are on the ballot.

The final selection of a new superintendent may be delayed until the new board takes office.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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