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Shumway faces big challenges as new superintendent of public schools

Shumway faces big challenges as new superintendent of public schools



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The man who will soon take over hundreds of Utah public schools says it's all personal for him.

Larry Shumway's desk is full of pickles, cheese and crackers. It seems odd, and then you see the notes attached. Shumway explained, "It came as a gift, if you get in a pickle, or are feeling cheesy, if you're about to crack up; that sort of thing."

On Friday, he was named the next superintendent of Utah's public schools. He takes over July 1 during some big challenges.

"We have probably the toughest budget situation we've had in decades," he said. But he thinks of one thing when making decisions: his 11-year-old son. He said, "Stephen will start the seventh grade next fall. I always try to come back to what I want for Stephen. I want to have him to have all the opportunities that so many of us have enjoyed."

Shumway says everyone benefits from public education, and no one should feel exempt from contributing. "We often think we are serving children and certainly that's our first focus, but we work for the benefit of our entire community."

During this time of tough budget cuts, Shumway says it's not about doing more with less. He said, "We have to do the most important things with the less that we have."

Shumway is currently Deputy State Superintendent. He has also coordinated the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship and directed the Educator Quality and Licensing program. Before coming to the state office, Shumway was superintendent of the Tooele School District.

Shumway takes over for Patti Harrington, who is retiring at the end of June. Shumway says Harrington has been truly committed to public education.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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