Leaders Remember Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston
Governor Rick Snyder, Lansing mayor Andy Schor and others shared memories of Michigan State Superintendent Brian Whiston, who succumbed to cancer.
The Michigan Department of Education confirmed Whiston passed away on Monday night from cancer at the age of 56.
The State Board of Education appointed Whiston to the State Superintendent post in 2015. Prior to that appointment, he was the superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools. Whiston also taught at Wayne State University, where he earned Bachelors and Masters degrees.
Funeral services have not been announced.
Leaders from across Michigan issued statements on Whiston:
“It is with a heavy heart that I learned the news of the passing of State Superintendent Brian Whiston. Brian’s dedication and work on behalf of all Michigan students and teachers was exemplary. He was an outstanding partner who understood that, just as teachers work every day to challenge their students to do better, we all need to challenge ourselves to do better for students. The partnerships to help struggling districts, his work to help implement the Marshall Plan for Talent, his Top 10 in 10 program, and many other initiatives he undertook during his career will be part of Brian’s longstanding efforts to make Michigan a national leader in education. I will miss working with him greatly.” - Gov. Rick Snyder (R) Michigan
“I was extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Superintendent Whiston. His passion for improving the lives of students and families across our state will not be forgotten. He was an excellent partner who understood there was more to academic success than just test scores. He lived a life dedicated to service and I offer my sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and all who knew him.” - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R) Michigan
"Today I say goodbye to a good friend. Brian Whiston lost his fight with cancer. I met Brian when I was a staffer for State Sen. Gary Peters. He always had a smile and treated me with great respect. We became fast friends. When I ran for office, he always supported me. First for County Commission (when I was 26 years old), then for the House, then for Mayor. When he was up for State Superintendent of Education, I emphatically supported his candidacy and was thrilled when he was appointed. It was so great to work with him on behalf of the children of Michigan, and he was making great progress. The state has lost a fierce advocate for our kids, and I have lost a good friend. I offer my condolences to the Whiston family. Rest in peace, Brian. And thanks for all that you have done for our children here in Michigan." - Lansing mayor Andy Schor
“Brian was a wonderful person who devoted his life to serving others. He was always focused on doing what is best for the children of Michigan. The vision he set forth to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years will endure. His leadership and talent established the dynamic strategies that will help all children in Michigan have the opportunity to learn and be prepared for success.” - State Board of Education Co-Presidents Casandra Ulbrich and Richard Zeile