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State superintendent to take medical leave of absence

Utah State Board of Education names Sydnee Dickson as acting superintendent

The Utah State Board of Education announced today that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brad Smith will take a 90-day leave of absence to address health concerns.

Deputy Superintendent Sydnee Dickson has been named acting superintendent, effective immediately. Dickson has served as deputy superintendent since 2014. Previously, she worked in the Utah State Office of Education as its Director of Teaching and Learning and as an educator in several Utah school districts.

Rich K. Nye, associate superintendent of data, assessment, and accountability, has been named acting deputy superintendent. Nye was hired by the State Board in 2015 after serving as a district administrator in the Ogden School District.

“We wish Brad all the best while he is away,” said State Board of Education Chair David Crandall. “He has assembled a great team, and we have every confidence in Syd, Rich, and other members of the superintendency.”


Emilie Wheeler, communication specialist
Utah State Board of Education
801-707-8421 |


Utah State Board of Education
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