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.
Matthew L. Blomstedt, Commissioner
Dr. Blomstedt was named Commissioner of Education by the State Board of Education on January 2, 2014.
Dr. Blomstedt served as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council until December 2013. He previously served as the first full-time Executive Director of the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association, a research analyst for the Education Committee of the Nebraska Legislature and has worked in a variety of policy research roles over the past 16 years.
Dr. Blomstedt is a native Nebraskan whose career has focused on local, regional and statewide education issues. Blomstedt’s experience includes education finance and organization, assessment and accountability, professional development, and the development of systems to enhance blended and distance learning opportunities across the state.
Dr. Blomstedt earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning.
Deborah A. Frison, Deputy Commissioner
School Improvement and Support
Dr. Frison is a veteran Nebraska educator with 38 years of teaching and administrative experience within the Omaha Public Schools. For the past seven years she has served as Principal of Burke High School. In August 2015, she began full-time at the Nebraska Department of Education in the position of Deputy Commissioner for School Improvement and Support.
Dr. Frison formerly 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/Chief of Staff
Brian has served as an Assistant 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.
Mark Schultz, Deputy Commissioner
Mark Schultz has 34 years of experience in providing and developing disability-related services. For the last six years, he has been the Director of Nebraska VR focusing on training and employment for individuals with disabilities. He was the Assistive Technology Partnership Director for twenty years prior to his current role.
Mark has worked to benefit Nebraskans with disabilities by fostering partnerships with public and private organizations, securing grants, developing innovative and creative services and programs to advance the mission of the agency.
Mark received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
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