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A new state superintendent is in and two top education managers are out, continuing a series of administrative shakeups at the Utah State Office of Education.

Associate State Superintendents Bruce Williams and Judy Park, who oversee financial reporting and testing for Utah's public education system, will be removed from their positions in the coming weeks, the state office announced Tuesday.

Effective immediately, Williams will be replaced by Scott Jones, currently the interim director of the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation.

Park is expected to remain in her position until some time this summer and a replacement has not yet been announced.

After Park is replaced, the top five posts in Utah's public education system will have turned over in the course of one year.

State Superintendent Brad Smith, a self-described "disruptive leader" with a reputation for shedding programs and people during his tenure at Ogden School District, downplayed the firings in a prepared statement.

"The Utah State Board of Education is simply seeking a new direction in agency leadership," Smith said. "We continue to hold both Bruce Williams and Judy Park in high regard and wish them well in the future. At the same time, we are eager to move forward with Scott Jones to make Utah's schools better for our teachers and our students."

Park said her position was terminated and she was given no reason for the staffing change. She had previously indicated her intention to retire in December 2016.

"I wasn't anticipating this at all," she said. "I'm going to have to figure out what I'm going to do moving forward."

The removal of Williams and Park follows the exits of other high-profile education managers, including State Superintendent Martell Menlove, who announced his retirement in March 2014, and Menlove's deputy superintendent, Brenda Hales, who resigned abruptly last August.

The state school board tapped Smith as Menlove's replacement last fall and State Office of Education veteran Sydnee Dickson was promoted to deputy state superintendent.

Then in March, Angela Oakes Stallings was hired as a third associate state superintendent, filling a position that was created through restructuring.

In her job overseeing student testing and data, Park was a frequent target for Utahns opposed to data collection and SAGE, the state's new computer-based student assessment system.

And Williams was brought in to manage the state office's financial reporting in 2012, following a $25 million budgeting error that resulted in the resignation of two state office employees.

Williams declined to comment Tuesday, but Park said she was excited about exploring new opportunities.

"A lot of change has happened recently and hopefully there won't be any adverse effects on schools," she said.

Tuesday's announcement marks the first high-profile firing of Smith's tenure as state superintendent. Prior to joining the Utah State Office of Education, Smith worked as superintendent of the Ogden School District, where he earned a reputation for trimming programs and staff and shuffling school administrators.

Smith's selection by the state school board came shortly before the first SAGE scores were released. The results showed widespread underperformance by Utah's students and schools.

At the time, Smith urged state lawmakers to hold off making drastic changes to the testing system, giving SAGE "a good, solid five or six years." But seven months later, Park has been forced out.

Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president of the Utah Education Association, said the removal of Williams and Park is a "huge loss" for public education. She said both associate superintendents were excellent collaborators with educators throughout the state.

"I think it's going to be a challenge to get folks in [the state office] who will have those kinds of relationships," she said.

In a prepared statement, Jones expressed his thanks to Smith and the state school board for the opportunity to join the State Office of Education.

"I look forward to being able to make a positive difference in the lives of Utah educators and students," he said.