The State Board of Education gave a unanimous vote of confidence Friday to State Superintendent James R. Moss.During two days of meetings, the board spent considerable time in closed session evaluating the superintendent.

Thursday, school officials from southern Utah criticized the state board for dissension within its own ranks. Friday's vote of confidence and support was an indication that some of the rifts among board members and the superintendent have been resolved.

Moss, who will note his second anniversary on the job in September, said he was "very pleased with the unanimous vote. The past two years, with all their challenges, have been difficult, but now I feel we are moving ahead. There is a greater feeling of unity and I am facing the next year with lots of confidence."

The board has also wrestled with a strategic planning mission statement. A draft document prepared by the Strategic Planning Commission is being reviewed by the board and state education office staff and will be finalized in future meetings.