SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 17, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s Superintendent of Public Instruction has resigned, it was revealed Wednesday.
Brad Smith, who took offices in November of 2014, tendered his resignation in a letter dated Feb. 16.
His announcement follows a 90-day medical leave he reportedly took for a chronic but non-life threatening health condition, the nature of which was not publicly disclosed.
Prior to his 15 months as state superintendent, Smith served as superintendent of the Ogden School District for three years.
The body of Smith’s resignation letter follows:
When I was appointed as state superintendent of public instruction fifteen months ago, I was often asked how long I intended to serve. I would generally answer that I would serve as long as I felt I was making a positive contribution to education in Utah. After meeting and conversing with you and other members of board leadership, I have regretably (sic) come to the conclusion that I am no longer able to make a positive contribution as state superintendent. Accordingly, I hereby tender my resignation as state superintendent, effective as we shall mutually agree.
I believe that improving educational outcomes for students remains the single most important public issue in Utah. Insuring a high-quality education for every student, closing performance gaps between subgroups of students, and providing means to systematically measure the efficacy of our education system are issues of the highest importance to children and our state. I hope to continue to make a contribution to the achievement of these ends.
I have great respect for the Utah Board of Education. To a person, it is filled with well-intentioned, motivated people, striving to make a positive contribution to education. The reform efforts of the Board – to education generally and the state office in particular – are issues that elected boards often choose to ignore; this Board has not done so. My admiration for the Board’s focus is high.
I am proud that I leave this office in a stronger position than I found it. I have been surrounded by a talented, dedicated team of senior leaders. Together we have repaired a fractured relationship with lawmakers and started the hard, earnest work that change will require. The people who have been willing to work with me are the very best and I thank them for their dedication and patience.
Thank you for the chance to serve.
Brad C. Smith
Deputy state Superintendent Sydnee Dickson, who has served as acting state superintendent since Smith’s medical leave was announced, will continue in that role until a new superintendent is in place.