ed director

Wyoming Gov. Mead appoints Arizona senator to run education department

2013-06-27T06:00:00Z 2013-07-08T18:09:17Z Wyoming Gov. Mead appoints Arizona senator to run education departmentThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 27, 2013 6:00 am  • 

CHEYENNE -- Richard Crandall, an Arizona state senator and co-owner of two nutritional service companies, was selected on Wednesday by Gov. Matt Mead to run the Wyoming Department of Education.

Crandall, whose appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate, takes over a department embroiled in controversy, including the removal of its previous administrator -- state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill -- earlier this year by a new state law. Hill is challenging the constitutionality of the change in court.

Despite the situation he is stepping into as director of the education department, Crandall said he considers the position to be a "dream job."

"You've got the state board, a governor's office and a Legislature who just want to do big things for Wyoming students," he said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. "And they have a lot of similar ideas and some big thinking and to be able to walk into an organization like that and be a part of it is a thrill of a lifetime."

Crandall had already announced he was retiring from his state Senate seat mid-term to pursue his "dream job" of leading a school system.

On Wednesday he said he would "step away" from his two companies: CN Resources and Crandall Corporate Dieticians in Mesa, Ariz.

Crandall previously chaired Arizona's Senate and House education committees and was the school board president for the state's largest school district in Mesa.

“Richard impressed me with his strong background in education policy and innovation," Mead said in a media release issued late Wednesday afternoon.

"His work with the Digital Learning Commission, a national panel established by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has given him special insight into classroom instruction and uses of technology,” Mead added.

Crandall was one of three finalists chosen by the state Board of Education for the job. The others were Tony Apostle, retired superintendent of public schools in Puyallup, Wash., and Norman Ridder, superintendent of public schools in Springfield, Mo.

During a public meeting of the finalists last month, Crandall said he was focused on technology and would not shy from wholesale changes that incorporate technology and other innovative learning methods in the classroom.

He said he was most passionate about personalized learning that customizes lessons to the needs of individual students.

As director of the education department, Crandall will supervise about 150 employees and an annual budget of about $1 billion.

Crandall said late Wednesday that he will fly to Cheyenne on Friday to meet with the governor and other state officials.

"It's a dream job. It's going to be a treat," Crandall said. "Wyoming has this incredible infrastructure that I think they want to see what they can do."

The state Board of Education and the governor's office talked about finding ways to support teachers with technology, he said.

"They're excited to be education innovators," he said. "The state of Wyoming is poised to do great things."

Crandall will take over from interim director Jim Rose.

Rose is director of the Wyoming Community College Commission. Mead appointed him interim director of the education department in January after the Legislature passed and the governor signed Senate File 104. The law removed Hill from her administrative duties over the department and put them under an appointed director. Hill now has general supervisory responsibility for the state's public schools.

SF104 was the subject of a failed referendum by the Wyoming Constitution Party and an inquiry into how the education department has been run under Hill's watch.

The inquiry team, which was appointed by Mead, reported back last week. The inquiry, submitted without conclusions and largely consisting of interviews with department staff, indicated possible misuse of federal money for unauthorized programs and trips in the state plane under Hill's administration.

Legislative leaders are considering appointing a special House committee to investigate further. The special committee could recommend impeachment of Hill, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Crandall said he has read up on the situation and his not being associated with what has happened so far is an advantage.

"I'm going to let that take its course because I'm not part of that," he said. "Everyone's got a clean slate with me there. I'm just looking forward to being part of a dynamic organization."

Star-Tribune capital bureau reporter Joan Barron contributed to this story.

Contact capital bureau reporter Joan Barron at 307-632-1244 or joan.barron@trib.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. HarlyD
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    HarlyD - July 09, 2013 4:40 pm
    Gov. Matt Mead please run for gov. again I want to see you shut down big time you have dissed the people of Wyoming long enough. By the way Star Tribune why can farwest print butt and every time I do you won't let it go through.
  2. farwest
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    farwest - July 09, 2013 12:08 pm
    This is just what I told the Gov. over a month ago he would do-bring in an immigrant to run the dept. of ed. But then if you are one of the ruling class, why would he give a rats butt what the peasants think. Wyo elected nothing more than our version of , lets just call them Wyo's Kennedys{Mead,Hansen}. Those entitled to govern,
  3. pappy
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    pappy - June 28, 2013 9:02 am
    How is this any better than electing John Q citizen from WY. This guy has no back ground in education other than the cafeteria program. No experience in WY schools and he is going to a better job than what the voters decide. This was a wreck from the get go and it continues to be a wreck.
  4. supercelifragilistic
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    supercelifragilistic - June 28, 2013 7:58 am
    Now let me get this straight: out of the 576,412 residents {estimate} of 2012 US Census head count, not one Wyomingite is qualified? This tells me that there are 576,412 too incompetent residents in this state to run Wyoming.
    Therefore an "out of stater" sworn by oath to another state, is chose over the 576,412 incompetent folks in Wyoming. Therefore, Wyomingites are too incompetent to choose their own leaders? How does that work?
  5. Wyoite
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    Wyoite - June 27, 2013 6:06 pm
    Alright, now I'm having serious questions and seeing RED FLAGS about this guy and who he really is. He is listed and reported as the current CEO and CFO of Crandall Corporate Dieticians. That where he is currently employed. Here's the problem, Indeed has his Company's total annual revenue at . . . WAIT FOR IT . . . $750,000. Yep- that's annual. I have not bought the D&B report yet, but I think I'm fixing to. May be worth the $130 bucks to get a good bead on this guys current company that he is running.

    The description on the company's website simply can't be anywhere near accurate if they are really only doing $750K a year in revenue. That's enough for about 2-5 employees- maybe. according to the website . . . well, here it is:

    For over 35 years, Crandall Corporate Dietitians has provided high quality dietary consulting services to rural and urban sites throughout the United States.

    "Through the years, Crandall has developed a unique system of auditing which evaluates nutritional needs, menu and recipe compliance, safety and sanitation requirements, and adherence to both state and federal regulations. This system is now being used in 37 states at over 600 contracted sites. Crandall accomplishes this work with over 200 Registered Dietitians, several diet technicians, dietary managers, and support personnel."

    All with $750K of total revenue? Over 200 registered Dieticians? Really? May be time to buy the D&B report.

  6. Wyoite
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    Wyoite - June 27, 2013 4:44 pm
    If indeed true, the Wyoming people need to be told about this straight up. This is someone who was just hired to run a $1 Billion budget and can't make his own checkbook balance, and as a result, stuck it to a business for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It would be ironic for someone that could not even obtain a mortgage from a lender because of his horrible personal credit to now be managing a Billion dollars of ours.

    Help Trib! Run a story on this, ask questions and get answers, fill it with the numbers and dates please! Wyoming people may not be bright enough to choose our own officials, but we will definitely understand if someone is not fiscally responsible in their own lives and has now been given stewardship over our money.
  7. Sassy
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    Sassy - June 27, 2013 4:14 pm
    November, Sam, Papa-- So what are the real costs to fly one of the Citations? $2000.00/hr or more?
  8. Sassy
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    Sassy - June 27, 2013 3:14 pm

    No rumor it is the truth- He also missed over 90% of the votes in the house during the same time frame " while he was attending to his business in New York"

    Nice move Matty Boy and Hanky Panky, you know how to choose them.....
  9. Wyoite
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    Wyoite - June 27, 2013 1:03 pm
    So- rumor is that this fellow just stuck a huge loss to his bank because he is not fiscally responsible. I hear he had to short sell his $1 Million+ dollar house and stuck his bank with about a $500K loss. Trib- time to investigate this.

    I can't believe Mead would really hire an accountant with not professional education background to run our school's $1 Billion budget if he can't run his own finances and is immorally sticking it to his creditors, so I won't believe the rumor unless the Trib can look into it and verify.

    Need investigation immediately please.

    Also Trib, someone needs to get out to the tarmac and get a nice clear pic of this fellow getting off our State jet. That will be really well received in Wyoming. Some outsider, whom we didn't elect, beginning the jet-setting politician stage on day one. If he were smart, he'd show up with his 7 kids and Wife in a self packed Uhaul and have the Trib shoot a pic of that- but I guess he isn't that smart.
  10. N4959SP
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    N4959SP - June 27, 2013 12:01 pm
    Well well I just answered my own question. N102WY is leaving for Phoenix today and returning tomorrow with the new guy. Who will be on that flight (looks like about nine) and get to do the meet and greet? Cindy? Hank Coe? Rep. Harshman? Also please put this on the tab of the Wyoming taxpayers and thank our legislatures Coe and Harsman for running the tab up a little bit more! God I love a state that goes first class all the way! Who says we don't have money in the budget ! If I were in Cindy's shoes (now that would be a sight as I hate high heels) I would meet the returning plane in CYS with a great big ol' Wyoming gift basket! All local products of course and that book on Cowboy Ethics our legislatures are so fond of (BTW they ever read that cover to cover?) Oh and don't forget a bottle of that handcrafted Wyoming Whiskey that the Gov's brother makes that is so overpriced. So CST hump a reporter down to CYS for tomorrow and get the first interview and a pic of Cindy delivering the gift basket! And Cindy you got do this as it will help to heal old wounds and you can give him the scoop on legislatures not to cross! Hey I'll even meet you with a bottle of WW and we will crack it open together and watch the Good ol' Boy Club pat each other on the back!
    Cheers and Tail Winds!
  11. N4959SP
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    N4959SP - June 27, 2013 10:56 am
    First off I am not a big fan of Cindy Hill and she may even be a little looney, BUT that said I believe she had the interest of students and teachers at heart in her administration.The mistake she made was crossing Hank Coe / Rep. Harshman and their "rat pack" of legislatures! She tried to dominate in an exclusive all male political club and they disemboweled her! Teaching her a lesson she will never forget! The reality is Hank Coe and Harshman have done more to hurt the educational institution in this state then Ms. Hill ever did. My real displeasure with all of this is what will the final price tag for the citizens of Wyoming? What did our legislatures cost us so they could prove a point on who was actually in control of our educational system? I have never seen legislation move so fast in a session and I think Coe had the moving van at her office before the governor even signed the bill! So my question to our legislatures and if you want accountablity, we the taxpayers deserve an answer, what is the total price tag for all of this be,THE TOTAL PRICE TAG, including the attorney defending the state, the movers, and so on and so on. What a shame that we couldn't of used all that money for Wyomings, youth! So much for smaller goverment and lessing spending! I thought that was the hill the republicans died on! What's really ironic is that by the time this guy gets his feet wet in the Dept. of Ed. we would almost be ready to hold the election for her position and could of put the power of the people to work in VOTING on who leads the dept. of Ed. Heck Harshman could of used all that cash to line his new indoor athletic facility with some really impressive furnishings! So CST please do a story for us on the final cost to the taxpayers in Wyoming, and the amont of money Coe and Harshman cost us. We would love to know the dollar figure. Oh and one final thought. Does this guy get accesss to the state plane? I'll bet we are flying him here in it! Cindy took a hit on using it to go to Jackson and just this past week it was in KJAC TWICE! Who took those flights? For that matter 101WY or 102WY are in the air almost everyday and using about 120 gal. an hour so I think it was only fair that Cindy got at least one trip in the Citation before they stripped her of her office!

  12. Brett Glass
    Report Abuse
    Brett Glass - June 27, 2013 8:30 am
    We are now seeing the Legislature and Governor's true agenda: to put ALEC in charge of Wyoming's schools. Crandall has serious conflicts of interest. His company wants schools to outsource their food service, and he gets money from Jeb Bush's "Foundation for Excellence in Education," whose true purposes are to inject religion into schools, discourage the teaching of evolution, and steer school funds to parochial schools. The foundation also advocates reductions in state health and welfare programs and reductions in state funding of education. Both ALEC and FEC lobby for policies that benefit their corporate donors -- including food service companies like Crandall's, standardized testing companies, companies to which charter schools outsource management functions, and textbook publishers -- rather than promoting quality public education. Crandall is a political operative and should not be in charge of our schools.
  13. c'monrepubs
    Report Abuse
    c'monrepubs - June 27, 2013 7:55 am
    The hiring of a political figure to oversee the WDOE latest in an unfortunate series of events concerning the governance of education in Wyoming. The department has long been insulated from accountability or influence by the people of the state. Another Jim McBride, someone with no educational expertise, or understanding of the state, put in charge of Wyoming's schools.
    Another person primarily motivated by political ends and self-interest with little understanding of the complexities of education within the context of the state cannot be expected to respond to the needs of the local communities, let alone take the personal risks necessary to confront the entrenched bureaucracy.
    Say what you will about Ms Hill, but she had the courage to try to shake things up to make the department more responsive to local control. We've shown our gratitude by silently watching her be excoriated in the newspapers and subjected to a "forensic" audit. A specious means of letting her enemies in the state government remain faceless while venting their spleen and casting aspersions of misdeeds- a favorite tool of the bureaucracy.
    Wyoming's schools should be governed by their local communities. The power of communities to govern their own schools was surrendered to the state bureaucracy and the legislature in the hopes that a more efficient and more effective means of education might be found. Those who were empowered to govern our schools have proven themselves incapable of responding to the real needs of students in Wyoming. It is time for an amendment to the constitution restoring power to govern schools to the constituency of local voters in their own communities. We do not need a political figurehead apologizing for the continual abuses of power in a burgeoning bureaucracy.
  14. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - June 27, 2013 6:49 am
    Well, Well...No surprize
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