Day 4: The induction ceremony

State superintendent Debbie Critchfield finished out her first week in office by joining Gov. Brad Little and other elected officials for a formal induction ceremony on the Statehouse steps Friday.

The seven incoming leaders recited their oaths of office in front of hundreds of Idahoans. Debbie was joined by her husband Dave and son Gannon at the podium.

Debbie was officially sworn in at her Oakley residence Monday, and started her first full day of work Tuesday. Friday’s event was ceremonial for the state superintendent. / Photo provided by the State Department of Education’s Tara Kleffner

Critchfield was officially sworn in Monday at her Oakley home, so she could begin her first day of work Tuesday.

The ceremony preludes the start of the 2023 legislative session.

During the session, Critchfield will push for education policy and budgets. The major education presentations will take place the week of Jan. 23, including Critchfield’s on Jan. 25.

The State Department of Education also released the salaries of Critchfield’s first hires Friday, following an EdNews public records request.

Critchfield began announcing hires just days after her election in November, beginning with former gubernatorial aide and West Ada School District spokesman Greg Wilson as chief of staff, and Idaho school administrator Ryan Cantrell as deputy state superintendent.

Over the next weeks she announced former public radio journalist Scott Graf would take over SDE communications, and former financial officer for the State Board of Education Gideon Tolman as her pick for chief financial officer. Julie Mead took over as interim director of special education, and Alison Duman is now the K-12 workforce development specialist.

Here’s how their salaries line up:

  • Greg Wilson, Chief of Staff: $141,024
  • Ryan Cantrell, Chief Deputy Superintendent: $141,024
  • Scott Graf, Communications Director: $102,710.40
  • Gideon Tolman, Chief Financial Officer: $135,200
  • Julie Mead, Interim Director of Special Education, $110,240
  • Alison Duman, K-12 Workforce Program Specialist: $70,096

The release also lists former state senator Carl Crabtree as Critchfield’s special assistant for the Land Board, also known as the State Board of Land Commissioners that includes the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state controller and state superintendent.

Crabtree will serve as a policy advisor on issues related to the board, and is set to earn $52,572 in the part-time position.

The superintendent earns a state-set salary of $128,690.

Critchfield dedicated the remainder of Friday to preparing for Monday, when the governor will deliver the State of the State address and the 2023 legislative session officially begins.

Sadie Dittenber

Sadie Dittenber

Reporter Sadie Dittenber focuses on K-12 policy and politics. She is a College of Idaho graduate, born and raised in the Treasure Valley. You can follow Sadie on Twitter @sadiedittenber and send her news tips at [email protected].

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