The Utah State Office of Education announced today State School Superintendent Martell Menlove will retire after only a year and three months on the job.
Menlove was appointed as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in January 2013 after serving as deputy to Superintendent Larry Shumway, before Shumway, himself retired in 2012.
Menlove said in a statement his immediate plans are to spend time with family.
David Crandall is chair of the Utah State Board of Education. He says it is with regret that the board accepts the resignation of Menlove, for whom he has deep respect.
“He’s had a very good and strong relationship with the Superintendents of the districts throughout the state and that’s been a real advantage, I think for the state board of education,” Crandall says. “He’s also done what I would consider to be a very good job in carrying out the will of the board in representing us well in the legislature and other outside groups.”
Menlove dealt with a number of divisive issues during his tenure; fielding questions from parents concerned about the state’s involvement in the Common Core and handling the controversial school- grading law. But Menlove was also present for an uptick in public education funding overall.
Utah Parent Teacher Association President Liz Zentner says he’ll be sorely missed by many.
“He has really changed the climate here and he created a great working relationship with the legislature over the years and has helped build trust,” Zentner says. “He’s been accessible. He’s been so good about testifying in legislative committees and he’s been a real asset to public education.”
The state school board has the authority to select a new superintendent at any time, using any process it chooses, but Chairman David Crandall says they will likely do a nationwide search, before vetting and appointing a candidate as they’ve done in the past.
According to a press release from the state office of education, Menlove will remain on the job until the state school board selects a replacement but has also offered to stay on through the transition.