SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Board of Education on Friday selected Ogden School District Superintendent Brad C. Smith as the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Eight members of the Board voted to extend the offer following several hours of discussion both Thursday night and Friday. Smith accepted the offer Friday afternoon and announced plans to begin work at the Utah State Office of Education in the first week of November.
Smith said he is excited to begin work at the Utah State Office of Education and intends to continue his work toward prioritizing the needs of students.
“I feel strongly that we should put student achievement first, last, and always,” Smith said. “I am prepared to keep my eye on that ball. That has really good policy consequences.”
Smith, 48, was appointed superintendent of the Ogden City School District in 2011. He served on the Ogden City School Board from 2007-11 and worked professionally as an attorney for nearly 20 years.
When Smith was appointed superintendent, the Ogden City School District was the lowest performing district in Utah by nearly every measure. Under his leadership, the district has seen significant improvements in math and English language arts proficiency rates, in addition to graduation rates.
Board Chair David L. Crandall said Smith has a keen eye for data-driven success and is passionate about students.
“Superintendent Smith brings to us a unique blend of experience and knowledge that will benefit Utah students,” Crandall said.
The Board of Education conducted an extensive search for a new superintendent after Martell Menlove announced his retirement in March.
“I am very excited about the selection of Brad Smith,” said Board Member Jefferson Moss, who chaired the Superintendent Search Committee. “It was a difficult decision given the high caliber of the other candidates. I feel confident that he has the skills and experience to move education forward in Utah.”
Smith was raised in Salt Lake City. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1990 from the University of Utah before graduating from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah in 1993. Smith resides in Ogden with his wife, Debbie Smith, and has three children.
On Thursday, the Board conducted hour-long interviews with each of the four finalists for the position. The interviews were conducted in public and streamed live online. Board Members deliberated in closed session following the interviews Thursday night and again Friday morning and afternoon.
The finalists included: Rich Crandall, former director of the Wyoming Department of Education; Brad Smith, Ogden School District Superintendent; John Barge, State Superintendent in Georgia; and Martin Bates, Granite School District Superintendent. The four finalists were selected from a group of seven semi-finalists interviewed Sept. 15 by more than 40 representatives from local education, business and government groups.
Those who voted to extend the offer to Smith included Board Members David Crandall, Leslie Castle, Dan Griffiths, Heather Groom, Michael Jensen, Jennifer Johnson, Jefferson Moss, and Mark Openshaw. Those who voted against the offer included Board Members Dixie Allen, Kim Burningham, Keith Buswell, Barbara Corry, Debra Roberts, David Thomas, and Terryl Warner.
Contact: Emilie Wheeler, communications specialist
Utah State Board of Education
801-707-8421 | Emilie.email@example.com