State Education Board Elects 2018 Leadership

The State Board of Education elected John Witzel as the new board president and Patricia Timm as vice president. Timm was the board president in 2017 while Witzel served as vice president.


John Witzel was appointed to the State Board of Education in 2014 and was elected to the board in 2016 to represent District 4. He most recently served as vice president in 2017. Previously John served in the U.S. Air Force as a Navigator and as the Director of the Strategic Air Command Airborne Command Post where he retired as a Lt. Colonel after 22 years of service. Witzel also served 14 years as a school board member with ESU3 and is a YMCA board member.


Patricia Timm was first appointed to the State Board of Education in 2004. She was most recently re-elected to the board in 2014 to represent District 5 and has served as board president twice including in 2017. Patricia is a former kindergarten teacher and K-12 art teacher, Education Coordinator for Centenary United Methodist Church, and Administrator of Beatrice Family Resource Center. She has also been involved in Habitat for Humanity, Beatrice Chamber of Commerce and the Beatrice Rotary.


Nebraska Students Returning To The Classroom After A Brain Injury

Sharon Royers, retired OPS administrator and board member for the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska briefed board members on the work happening across the state to make sure students who suffer a brain injury have all the supports they need to be successful in the classroom.

Nebraska Brain Injury Alliance


State Of Nebraska Schools,
Strategic Plan Discussion

Commissioner Blomstedt presented an update on the progress of the board’s strategic plan. The board has set several goals to measure success within the six tenets of AQuESTT and an additional leadership tenet. The Commissioner showcased the progress so far and the plan moving forward including a website designed to track the state’s strategic vision and direction.

Nebraska Education Vision Website


Legislative Priorities

The 2018 legislative session is underway and there are already several proposed bills that would have an impact on education. Deputy Commissioner Brian Halstead presented legislative priorities for the Nebraska Department of Education this session. In addition, the board will have a legislative retreat to review proposed bills in February.

Legislative and Regulatory Priorities


Nurturing Healthy Behaviors / Rooted In Relationships Program

The board granted the Commissioner the authority to approve a continuation grant to the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to continue the Nurturing Healthy Behaviors/Rooted Relationships program. The program is focused on services supporting early childhood mental health.

Nuturing Healthy Behaviors