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Final Four Candidates Interview For Top State Education Job

Martell Menlove announced his resignation as state superintendent in March.

Education officials in Utah have released the short-list of four candidates who could become the next superintendent of state schools. The list includes two candidates from Utah school districts and two from Wyoming and Georgia. The search began when current superintendent, Martell Menlove, announced his resignation in March. The selection process was a thorough collaboration between the state government and other organizations, said Emilie Wheeler, Communication Specialist with the State Board of Education. 

“They notified them that they were semifinalists and invited them to come to Salt Lake City for interviews with various stakeholders and included stakeholders from all across the state; education groups, business groups, legislative groups, representatives from the governor’s office, several government organizations,” she said. “They all met. They divided into four groups and held round-robin types of interviews. Following that, the stakeholders got together. They discussed their thoughts with the board superintendent search committee and then the search committee voted to narrow that list down to the four finalists.”

Whichever candidate is selected will be at the helm of a vast education network in within the state with a significant amount of public resources. Wheeler says the superintendent will be expected to implement public education programs while balancing a large infrastructure.

“The state superintendent of public instruction in Utah is an appointed position. They serve at the pleasure of the state board and are responsible to the board in administering all of the programs assigned to the state board having to do with policies and standards in public education,” Wheeler said. “They’re also responsible for the distribution of about three billion dollars in district and charter schools. The state superintendent also works with the state office of education, the state office of rehabilitation, and the Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind. So, combined, [they] have a staff of over 1,000 employees and a budget of $170 million.”

The final rounds of interviews will take place on Thursday with officials expected to announce their decision a few days later. According to Wheeler, the public is encouraged to observe the proceedings.

“They start Thursday at 3:30 [p.m.] at the state office of education in Salt Lake. Each interview will run roughly one hour. We will be screening the interviews online as well,” she said.

Those interested in viewing the interviews online can go to this link.