Many of Michigan’s largest school districts today offered their condolences to the family of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston, who died late Monday night after a struggle with cancer.
“On behalf of all our members, we are saddened by the loss of Superintendent Whiston, a man who dedicated his life to improving the lives of Michigan children and making them responsible citizens for the 21stcentury,” said Ray Telman, Executive Director of the Middle Cities Education Association. “Under his leadership, Brian advocated for significant increases in school funding for educating at-risk children across our state and he deserves immense credit for that work.”
Telman said Whiston, who served as President of the Middle Cities Education Association in 2015 immediately before he was appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was a kind and dedicated public servant who always put people ahead of partisan politics.
“I’ve personally known Brian for many years working in the state Capitol and was always touched by his generosity of spirit and his commitment to improving our state’s educational system for the better,” Telman said. “I considered him a close friend and am personally devastated by this news. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Beth, his children, and his beloved grandchildren.”
Before becoming the state’s top education official, Whiston was superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools, from 2008 to early 2015. He also was director of government and community services for Oakland Schools and a local school board member for 17 years.
The Middle Cities Education Association is a consortium of more than 27 urban school districts in Michigan, which was formed out of a shared commitment to improving educational opportunities for the urban learner. The unique mission and emphasis of Middle Cities is to serve as an advocate for member districts to ensure quality educational programs for all students.