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Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Salt Lake School District Superintendent McKell Withers speaks after being named Utah's 2009 Superintendent of the Year. The award was announced today during a Utah School Superintendents Association meeting.

SANDY — Salt Lake School District Superintendent McKell Withers is Utah's 2009 Superintendent of the Year.

The award was announced early this morning during a Utah School Superintendents Association meeting in Sandy.

Withers is a "tireless advocate for children," said Alpine School District Superintendent Vernon Henshaw. He serves as president of the Association.

Withers thanked his colleagues for the honor and said public education is "the greatest institution in the world."

He joined Salt Lake District in January 2003. Before that he was the assistant superintendent for support services in Granite School District.

Prior to that, he was principal of Olympus High School and Bonneville Junior High School. He has also worked as director of student services, a school counselor and a classroom teacher. He is a graduate of Salt Lake City's South High School.

Withers will represent Utah in the upcoming National Superintendent of the Year program.