Whiston Selected as New State Superintendent

By Beth Dalbey (Patch Staff)

Dearborn Public Schools will be searching for a new superintendent with the selection Wednesday of Brian Whiston to become the next state superintendent.

Whiston will replace Mike Flanagan, who will retire in June after a decade overseeing the Michigan Department of Education.

Photo of Brian Whiston via Dearborn Schools

Photo of Brian Whiston via Dearborn Schools

The Detroit Free Press said the selection is final pending the completion of contract negotiations.

Whiston was one of three finalists for the job. Others were Oakland Schools Superintendent Vicki Markavitch and Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel.

He was selected after a day of interviews with the finalists in which they were grilled about their previous experience. Whiston, for example, was asked about his job as a lobbyist for Oakland Schools in 2003 when the Oakland Schools financial scandal broke.

Whiston, who became Dearborn superintendent in 2008, had been called a big spender during the investigation, but he said Wednesday that as a lobbyist for 11 years, he often took lawmakers out for meals.

“Looking at those expenses … they’re not out of line with what you see every day in Lansing, in Washington,” Whiston said, explaining that he was “a minnow” when his expense account was compared with those submitted by other lobbyists.

Whiston implored the selection committee to look at his entire career, not just at his time with Oakland Schools. In Dearborn, he said, both academic achievement and graduation rates have improved under his watch.

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  1. Doug Carmichael says

    Hi, just a note. Brian’s last name is Whiston, not Whitson.

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