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Snow College has a new leader.

The Utah Board of Regents on Thursday named Gary Carlston president of the two-year college in Ephraim.

Carlston, formerly an education professor at Utah State University, has been the college's interim president since January.

"I am deeply honored to continue working with my colleagues, students, and the greater Snow College community," Carlston said in a prepared statement. "This is a special place where students are the focus, and their success is our mission."

Carlston has been a fixture in statewide education: He was former Gov. Mike Leavitt's deputy for education and also served as deputy state superintendent of schools.

Board of Regents Chairman Daniel Campbell praised Carlston in a statement for having "overwhelming support from faculty, students, staff and the community."

A committee of regents and Snow College faculty, staff, students and others nominated Carlston for the job in November.

On Thursday, Carlston pledged to help maintain a focus on students at what he called the "best two-year college in America." About 4,800 students attend the school, 3,000 of those full time.

A 1970 Snow College graduate, Carlston grew up in Sanpete County. A former superintendent of Logan City schools, he earned a doctorate in education administration from Brigham Young University. He has taught elementary school, junior high and high school students.