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State School Board Chooses Sydnee Dickson As State Superintendent

Utah State Office of Education

The Utah State Board of Education deliberated for about two hours Thursday night before voting unanimously to select Sydnee Dickson as Utah’s Superintendent of public schools. Dickson had been filling in as interim superintendent following the resignation of Brad Smith.

The high-profile statewide public education boss oversees more than 300 employees at the state office of education and the public education budget which tops out at more than $4 billion. Dave Crandall, chair of the state school board says one of the most difficult things for any superintendent is the unexpected nature of the job.

“You can look at the transgender issue. The controversy over the standards and assessments that have come to ahead with the gubernatorial campaigns,” Crandall says.

Crandall says Sydnee Dickson is nimble and capable of working through unexpected issues. But he says the decision came down to her experience and ability to build relationships with the education community, the legislature and the governor’s office. Dickson is the fourth new state superintendent in the five years. Crandall says that high rate of turnover has been a challenge.

“We’re always hoping for stability and to be able to carry out the strategic plan and the direction provided by the board,” Crandall says. “Of course the longer you have somebody in that position, the more likely you’ll be able to do that.”

Sydnee Dickson was out of the office Friday, and couldn’t be reached for comment. 

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