Colleague Fondly Remembers MI State Superintendent Brian Whiston

May 8, 2018

A colleagues of the late Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston is remembering him as a man of courage and conviction. 


Brian Whiston took the reins as Michigan’s top education official in 2015.  Under his guidance, the state launched its “Top 10 in 10” initiative, a turnaround plan designed to stop a decade-long slide in standardized test scores.


State Board of Education co-president Richard Zeile credits Whiston’s vision and his talent for bringing out the best in other people.


“That was enabled by his own lack of ego, his willingness to let others take the credit and sometimes take the initiative,” Zeile says.  “But he himself was able to get people of diverse values and visions and personalities to work together.”


Whiston died Monday after a months-long battle with cancer.  He was 56.


Chief Deputy Superintendent Sheila Alles is expected to be named interim superintendent until the state completes a national search for Whiston’s successor.