Jeremiah R. Dan-doy has resigned as superintendent of the Utah State Training School in American Fork.

Dandoy submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, and Department of Social Services Director Norm Angus announced Wednesday that he has accepted Dandoy's resignation. The resignation is effective Jan. 27.Angus released a statement Wednesday expressing appreciation for Dandoy's contribution "in helping the training school achieve certification for active treatment." Dandoy has served as superintendent of the training school for four years, since 1985.

The Deseret News was unable to reach Dandoy for comment.

Angus has appointed Paul Thorpe, superintendent of the Utah State Hospital in Provo, as new superintendent of the training school. Keith Stroud, director of the Social Services division of Mental Health, will serve as acting superintendent at the state hospital until a new superintendent is appointed.

Thorpe has been the superintendent of the Utah State Hospital since 1986. He was employed at the training school from 1972 to 1975 as a social worker and then accepted a job at the State Hospital in training and personnel management. Thorpe was assistant superintendent of the hospital from 1983 to 1986.

"I was very comfortable about where I was and about the hospital and what I was doing here. We have a superb staff," Thorpe said. "It's like leaving family. There will be a lot of challenges going over there (to the training school)."

Thorpe said he appreciates Angus' confidence in his ability to take over at the school.

Employees at the hospital were surprised and saddened at the news that Thorpe was being moved to the training school.

"Talking to people who have been at the hospital for a lot of years, they say the stability that is at the hospital is due to Paul and his abilities," said Brian Miller, director of personnel and staff development. "It has been an emotional week for us and we are sorry to see him go. We have felt like we've had an ally in him."

Miller said employees at the hospital considered Thorpe visionary for spearheading the development of a hospital value statement that has become the hospital's constitution.

Terry Twitchell, public information officer for Social Services, said Thorpe would provide organizational skills that would facilitate continued improvement of services at the training school.

"A number of studies have pointed out areas that need to be worked on," Twitchell said. One of those areas is individualized treatment programs that allow patients to move along a spectrum of skills and toward reaching their own potential, rather than "lumping (patients) together in groups."