State superintendent joins Michigan Virtual Board of Directors

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston joined the Board of Directors of Michigan Virtual. The 17-person board represents the business and education communities. Whiston, state superintendent since July 2015, replaces former state superintendent Michael Flanagan on the Michigan Virtual board.

“It is great to have Mr. Whiston join the Michigan Virtual Board of Directors,” Board Chair Daniel F. Kiblawi, President & CEO, Egelhof Controls Corporation, said. “He has been a strong leader in public education for many years and has demonstrated a commitment to providing students with innovative learning options.”

Michigan Virtual is governed by a board of directors representing the business and education communities. Michigan Virtual’s mission is to advance K-12 education through digital learning, research, innovation, policy and partnerships.

Michigan Virtual is a strong and trusted partner in providing quality educational offerings to students across Michigan,” Whiston said. “Increasing access for all Michigan students to learn through effective online and blended instruction equalizes their opportunities for success in school and beyond. I look forward to serving on the Board and supporting Michigan Virtual’s vision.”

Prior to his selection as state superintendent, Whiston served as Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools – the state’s third-largest school district – since 2008. His involvement in education started long before his time in Dearborn. During his 10 years as Director of Government and Community Services for the Oakland County ISD, Whiston consistently demonstrated his ability to work with state government to bring financial resources to schools, lead his department to improved student achievement, and help make all schools in the county successful. He also served as a local school board member for 17 years and held the position of President of the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).

His successful innovation efforts in Dearborn were recognized by the Michigan Association of School Administrators when it awarded him Superintendent of the Year honors in 2014. In addition, district programs, created under Whiston’s leadership, have won several awards including recognition from the Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Association of School Administrators, Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, and Best of MichBusiness.

In addition to Whiston and Kiblawi the Michigan Virtual board members are:

  • Jamey Fitzpatrick, Michigan Virtual President & CEO
  • John L. King (Board Vice Chair), Professor, School of Journalism, University of Michigan
  • Brian Broderick, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Non-public Schools
  • Prentiss Brown, Attorney, Prentiss M. Brown, P.C.
  • Darrell Burks, CPA, Former Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • John Butler, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Shared Services, Consumers Energy
  • Gretchen Dziadosz, Executive Director, Michigan Education Association
  • Robert Filka, CEO, Michigan Association of Home Builders
  • Rick Inatome, CEO, Infilaw, Inc., and Chairman & Principal Shareholder, Motorquest Automotive Group
  • James Lorenson, President, Gogebic Community College
  • Neil Marchuk, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, TRW Automotive
  • Barbara Markle, Assistant Dean of K-12 Outreach, College of Education, MSU
  • Kevin Oxley, Superintendent, Jackson County Intermediate School District
  • Rossi Ray-Taylor, President & CEO, Ray.Taylor and Associates, LLC
  • Wendy Zdeb-Roper, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals

About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.


About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a nonprofit educational organization that is leading and collaborating to build learning environments for tomorrow. Driven by student success, we have a strong record of supporting Michigan education that spans more than two decades. While many know us for our research-based, quality online learning options for students and professional development for educators, we also do a great deal of work behind the scenes to conduct original research, test innovations in learning, and provide consulting partnerships to promote effective practices. Education is changing faster than ever. Discover new models and resources to move learning forward at