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Ogden School's Chief Selected as State Superintendent

Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith has accepted a position as Utah’s next Superintendent of public instruction. A divided school board picked Smith out of four candidates on Friday. 

Attorney Brad Smith became superintendent in the Ogden School District back in 2011 and was almost immediately deemed a controversial figure. In his first year, school principals were uprooted and reassigned. In the spring of 2013, 20 school librarians were laid off and about half the teachers in the district left under Smith’s tenure.  At the same time, Ogden School District, which was once home to the poorest performing schools in the state, saw major spikes in student math and language arts proficiency and improved graduation rates. State School Board Chair Dave Crandall says the decision to select Smith to lead public schools state wide was easy.

“The important thing with Mr. Smith is his track record with the Ogden School District and his ability to build a strong executive team and to use information he’s obtained from assessments and to use that information to make policy decisions,” Crandall says.

Former state schools superintendent Martell Menlove announced his retirement back in March. His last day was September 30th. Joel Coleman, Superintendent of Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind is serving as interim superintendent. Smith did not respond to requests for an interview. He will be sworn in next month.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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