LANSING, Mich. – On Friday, State Superintendent Brian Whiston informed the State Board of Education that he will be taking a long-term disability leave, effective immediately.
Whiston was diagnosed with cancer late last year and has been receiving medical treatments while continuing to run the Michigan Department of Education.
"My doctors have advised me to step back for now and concentrate on my medical care," Whiston said. "It is difficult for me to take a leave at this important time in leading the education resurgence in Michigan, but it is the best course to take for my health and my family."
While on leave, Whiston has delegated Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles to oversee the operations of the Michigan Department of Education and continue his devoted efforts to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years.
The State Board earlier this year gave Whiston a rating of Outstanding on his annual evaluation, and as is its custom, extended his contract by one year.