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Utah's Board of Education put off for another day the selection of a new state superintendent of public instruction, updating the designation of acting state Superintendent Sydnee Dickson to an "interim" status on Thursday.

The change in Dickson's title reflects an increased degree of permanency, but falls short of a long-term replacement for Brad Smith, who announced his resignation as state superintendent on Wednesday.

Dickson has filled in for Smith since January, when he announced a medical leave of absence due to chronic, but not life-threatening, health concerns.

"The work doesn't change," Dickson said. "I will serve as long as they need me."

School board chairman David Crandall said the board will likely conduct a search for a new state superintendent in the coming months.

"At this point, we just want to focus on the last few weeks of the [legislative] session and getting our priorities handled there," he said.

Dickson, a veteran of the state Office of Education, has decades of experience in public education as both a teacher and administrator.

Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president of the Utah Education Association, said Dickson's perspective is an asset for bridging relationships between educators and policymakers.

"The thing I admire about Syd is you can count on her to look at all sides of the issue," Gallagher-Fishbaugh said.

Smith was named state superintendent in 2014 following a nationwide candidate search.

On Thursday, Crandall said it was not yet known if a similarly comprehensive process would be used to find Smith's successor.

And Dickson did not specify whether she would seek to stay on as state superintendent when the hiring process begins.

"I am really happy with interim," she said.

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