Committee to look for Utah new superintendent
Published: April 4, 2014 07:45PM
Updated: April 4, 2014 08:47PM

A committee of the Utah Board of Education will chart the course for selecting the next superintendent of public instruction.

Superintendent Martell Menlove, 62, surprised the board last week with the announcement that he is retiring after less than two years on the job.

Menlove said he had not anticipated the amount of stress the job would involve when he moved up from deputy superintendent in late 2012. The previous superintendent, Larry Shumway, was in the job three years.

There was little discussion at Friday’s board meeting, and none about the fact the job has had a revolving door in recent years. That’s typical for the top educator’s job in other states, as well.

Chairman David Crandall said the search committee will decide all details about the search, including the timing. He accepted nine volunteers from among board members: Jennifer Johnson, Debra Roberts, Kim Burningham, Leslie Castle, Barbara Corry, Dave Thomas, Dan Griffiths, Jefferson Moss and Freddie Cooper.

Crandall said last week that he hopes to have a new superintendent picked by late summer.

Roberts recalled that it was helpful during a previous search in the 1990s to have a consultant travel the state, meeting with stakeholders to learn what they want to see in a superintendent.

Member Keith Buswell suggested the board take up the Utah School Superintendents Association’s offer to help with the search.

In 2012, four lawmakers criticized the board’s superintendent search process, saying it “flies in the face of representative government” by rushing a decision.

Shumway announced his retirement in September that year, and within a week a search committee was saying it wanted to name his replacement in October.

The board wanted the superintendent in place in time to gear up for the typically grueling legislative session, Roberts, then the board chairwoman, said at the time.

kmoulton@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KristenMoulton