The man overseeing curriculum for the State Office of Education is leaving.

Brett Moulding is retiring effective Dec. 31, following 34 years in education, he told his staff Monday.

"I've worked with some of the best people anywhere in education," Moulding told the Deseret Morning News Tuesday. And now, he said, "I have exercised my option to retire."

Moulding has worked at the State Office of Education 14 years, mostly as a science specialist. He has been curriculum director nearly four years. He serves on national boards and committees, including the National Research Council's Board on Science Education and the National Assessment of Educational Progress' science standing committee.

Moulding is uncertain of his future plans, but expects national appointments, a cattle ranch and other hobbies to keep him busy. "There are a lot of things I need to do ... while I still can."

The State Office of Education is seeking candidates for his replacement, spokesman Mark Peterson said.

"He's been a valuable employee here dealing with curriculum matters, math and science in particular," Peterson said.

The state also is expected this week to name a new associate superintendent to oversee budget matters, just weeks before the 2008 Legislature hammers out the schools' $3 billion-plus budget.