The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is a constitutional agency approved by Nebraska voters. The Department operates under the authority of an elected board of education. NDE is organized into teams that interact to operate the agency and carry out the duties assigned by state and federal statutes and the policy directions of the State Board of Education. The teams are organized around distinct functions and responsibilities that encompass leadership and support for Nebraska’s system of early childhood, primary, secondary and postsecondary education; direct services to clients; and internal support to the agency.
The department carries out its duties on behalf of Nebraska students in public, private, and nonpublic school systems. The staff of the department interacts with schools and institutions of higher education to develop, coordinate and improve educational programs.
Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matthew Blomstedt resigned effective January 3, 2023. The commissioner is appointed by the elected State Board of Education. The process is underway to find a successor. As part of that process, the State Board designated Deputy Commissioner Deborah Frison to fulfill the duties of the commissioner until the next commissioner is appointed. You can learn more about the process online https://www.education.ne.gov/stateboard/commissioner-search-process/.
Deborah A. Frison, Deputy Commissioner
School Improvement and Support
Dr. Frison started with the Nebraska Department of Education in 2015 as Deputy Commissioner of Education for School Improvement and Support. She is a veteran Nebraska educator with 38 years of teaching and administrative experience within the Omaha Public Schools (OPS).
Dr. Frison formerly served seven years as Principal of Burke High School (OPS). Prior to Burke she served as Principal of King Science and Technology Magnet, a 5th through 8th grade magnet school, from 2000-2008, and Morton Middle School from 1997-2000. She received her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln/Omaha in 2000. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Brian Halstead, Deputy Commissioner
Brian has served as an Deputy Commissioner since June 2008, and has been employed by the Department since August 1990 handling numerous areas related to the development, implementation and application of the law, education policy, and legislative liaison activities at the federal , state, and local levels. Brian is a native Nebraskan having lived in York, Ogallala, Fremont, and Lincoln.
Brian received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1982, and a Doctorate of Law from the University of Nebraska Law School in 1985.
To lead and support the preparation of all Nebraskans for learning, earning, and living.
Partnering for the best education for all . . . for life.
Equity of access and opportunity
Honesty, integrity, and trust
Quality programs and services
Visionary and participatory leadership
A positive, can-do attitude
Accountability for results
Respect for individuals and individual differences
Equity of opportunities and outcomes
Excellence through continuous improvement