State fills professional-technical vacancy

A former executive director of the State Board of Education has been hired to lead the state’s Division of Professional-Technical Education.

Members of the State Board of Education voted unanimously On Thursday to hire Dwight Johnson to serve as executive director of the Division of Professional-Technical Education. He will oversee professional-technical education programs at Idaho’s high schools and post-secondary institutions.

“I understand and am passionate about the value and benefit of professional‐technical education for individuals, for businesses and for our state economy,” Johnson said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to working with PTE educators, our technical colleges and the business community to provide education and workforce development opportunities for Idahoans.”

Johnson most recently served as a senior administrator with the Idaho Department of Labor, where he worked on budgets, policy issues and legislative relations.

“Dwight has been a great leader for workforce development in the state of Idaho,” Mike Rush, executive director of the State Board of Education said. “He also has experience with the State Board of Education and extensive administrative experience.”

The executive director position had been vacant since early January, when former administrator Todd Schwarz left to become executive vice president/chief academic officer of the College of Southern Idaho.

Following Schwarz’s departure, Vera McCrink was appointed director on an interim basis while a search for an official replacement was launched. Rush said he was happy with what he described as “a pretty broad screening” process for candidates.

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Johnson is expected to start working at the end of this month or early next. He earned his master’s degree from Boise State University.

Board members set his pay at $50.48 per hour.

The meeting was conducted via teleconference and included a 20-minute executive session to discus the hire.

In other State Board news, members are still waiting for word from Gov. Butch Otter on filling the two vacant seats on the board.

The first board vacancy was created in November, when Ken Edmunds became director of the Idaho Department of Labor. On June 30, the second board position was vacated when longtime member Milford Terrell stepped down.

Rush said board members have been told an appointment from Otter could be “imminent.”