Day No. 1
And so it begins — a new era in Idaho education.
After eight years under the leadership of Sherri Ybarra, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield officially took office Tuesday. She was sworn in at her home in Oakley on Monday’s holiday. She’ll be ceremoniously sworn in on Friday at noon on the Statehouse steps also with other elected officials, including Gov. Brad Little.
“This day is special for me because I can finally start to work toward the positive changes I envision for students, educators and parents,” Critchfield wrote in a piece published by Idaho EdNews. “In other words, the talking is over and the doing begins.”
The superintendent spent her first full day in office visiting students at Compass Academy, a magnet school in the Idaho Falls district.
Critchfield has been active in the lead-up to her transition. Two days after her November election victory, she announced the hires of her chief of staff, Greg Wilson, and deputy state superintendent, Ryan Cantrell.
She spent the subsequent weeks filling out her inner circle with five more key hires and a 22-member transition team that included lawmakers, educators, community members and parents.
Replacing Ybarra, Critchfield says there will be changes in the “look, function and work” of the State Department of Education, home to more than 130 employees. The SDE is responsible for implementing policies and distributing funds to 115 districts and 77 charters; administering statewide assessments to most of Idaho’s 312,000 students, licensing 28,000 educators, and providing accountability data to taxpayers, parents and education leaders.
This blog will be updated daily with details of Critchfield’s first 100 days in office.