LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Education says State Superintendent Brian Whiston is taking long-term disability leave to attend to his health.

The department said Whiston informed the State Board of Education on Wednesday he will take the leave in 30 to 60 days.

Whiston, appointed in April 2015, was diagnosed with cancer late last year. He has been receiving medical treatments since then while continuing to run the Department of Education. He told the board that he’ll continue to lead the department until his leave begins, depending on his medical treatments.

The announcement came after the board on Wednesday gave Whitson a positive annual performance evaluation and extended his contract by one year.

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