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Michigan State Superintendent Takes Sick Leave After Cancer Diagnosis

Brian Whiston, Michigan's state superintendent, announced this week he will temporarily step down from overseeing the state's public schools after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

He told local media that his prognosis "isn't good."  

The board soon is expected to announce an interim director. Under sick leave, which Whiston said he will take some time within the next 30 to 60 days, Whiston can step back into the role at any time.  

Whiston was hired by the board in 2015. Under Whiston's watch, the state's department of education put together  its accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Officials in the department said there were close to 300 people involved in the process.  

"It takes time to get the vision, and then it takes time to implement the vision, and I think we're just coming to that point where you're going to see these things," he said to mlive.com in an interview earlier this week.   "I'm deeply disappointed I'm not going to be here for that part of the process."  

Whiston has also overseen bringing the state's School Reform Office, which was previously operated by the state, under the state's watch.  

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