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State School Board appoints interim superintendent of public instruction

Published: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 2:23 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 2:23 p.m. MDT

Joel Coleman, the current superintendent for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, was named Friday as the interim state superintendent of public instruction.

Jordan Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The State School Board on Friday tapped the superintendent of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind to serve as interim state superintendent of public instruction.

Joel Coleman, a former State School Board member, has headed the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind since June 2013 and is expected to resume his post when a permanent state superintendent is selected.

"Joel has the unique benefit of having served as an elected member of the state board and in working as the superintendent of a large organization,” State School Board Chairman Dave Crandall said in a prepared statement. “We believe he will be a good fit in helping the state board and state office transition during this time.”

Coleman succeeds Martell Menlove, who was named state superintendent in 2012 and announced in March his intention to retire.

"I am happy to accept this assignment and will strive to carry on the good work done by Dr. Menlove and his staff in making this transition as smooth as possible,” Coleman said in a prepared statement.

In addition to Menlove, Deputy State Superintendent Brenda Hales stepped down from her position — effectively the No. 2 post in the State Office of Education — last week.

Coleman's announcement as interim state superintendent was made simultaneously with a report that Sydnee Dickson, who serves as director of teaching and learning, had been named as interim deputy superintendent.

At the time of Hales' resignation, Crandall said a permanent replacement for Hales would likely not be named until after a new state superintendent was selected, allowing the new executive to hire their own deputy.

"She had indicated in the past that she planned to retire soon anyway," Crandall said. "It is something that we knew was upcoming."

Crandall said he expects Menlove's permanent replacement to be selected sometime in early October.

Coleman is a resident of West Jordan. He was elected to the State School Board in 2010 and served for three years prior to joining the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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