Dr. Withers grew up in Salt Lake City, attended the public city schools, and graduated from South High School where he was the student body president. He began his teaching career right out of high school as a Chapter I (now called Title I) tutor at Bryant Intermediate School. His first full-time teaching assignment was at the Granite Alternative High School working with students who had not been successful in a traditional high school setting. He worked for twenty-seven years in the Granite School District and held various positions including a teacher, counselor, alternative program coordinator, prevention specialist, student services director, junior high school principal, high school principal, and assistant superintendent, before being hired in January of 2003 as the superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District. He earned his B.S. (Sociology, Reading, and Secondary Education), M.Ed. (Educational Psychology, School Counseling), and Ed.D. (Educational Leadership and Policy) degrees from the University of Utah.
He is married with five children (three girls and two boys). He has been recognized locally and nationally for his work with children and continues to serve and participate in various community, professional, religious, and educational efforts focused on improving our communities and better serving our young people.