Utah Board of Ed Will Not Consider Lockhart as Superintendent

Becky Lockhart, Speaker of the House (Republican - Provo)
Becky Lockhart, Speaker of the House (Republican – Provo)

This afternoon, the Utah State Board of Education released their short list of candidates for the State Superintendent of Schools, a position made vacant due to the early resignation of Martell Menlove. The announcement was made today at a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Only two Utah residents are being considered. Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith and Granite School District Superintendent Martin Bates will join Georgia Board of Education Superintendent John Barge and Richard Crandall, previously the Director of Wyoming’s Department of Education, for formal interviews in Utah.

Today’s announcement ended weeks of speculation that Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart would use the education post as a springboard to challenge Governor Gary Herbert for the state GOP gubernatorial nomination in the 2016 election. Critics assailed Lockhart as having no education experience to qualify her for the superintendent post.

Utah’s Board of Education spokesperson Emilie Wheeler indicated that the candidates would be evaluated in an open session of the State board’s meetings this Thursday, with final determinations on the decision in executive sessions beginning Friday. Final announcements will follow but no date for installing the new superintendent has been determined. Menlove’s vacancy has been filled pro tem by Joel Coleman, the superintendent of Utah’s School for the Deaf and Blind.

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