State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Nebraska became part of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children July 1, 2012 through legislation that was enacted in 2011 (Nebraska Revised Statutes 79-2201 through 2206). The Compact provides for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. The purpose of this Compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents. The Compact also established the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which meets annually. The State Council advises the Department with regard to the State’s participation in and compliance with the Compact.

In 2011, Dr. Scott Swisher, Deputy Commissioner, Nebraska Department of Education, was appointed as the State Commissioner for the Interstate Commission on the Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

National Link for the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3)


Members – September 2017

(Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-2204(1))



Contact Information

Commissioner of Education
Dr. Matthew L. Blomstedt

Nebraska Department of Education
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Compact Commissioner
Dr. Brian Halstead,
Deputy Commissioner of Education

Nebraska Department of Education
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE  68509-4987
Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Legislature (non-voting)
Senator Mike Groene

402-471-2729 (Capitol)
State Capitol
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln , NE  68509
School District Representative
Dr. Jeff Rippe, Superintendent of
Bellevue Public Schools
8/5/2016 to 8/5/
Bellevue Public Schools
1600 Hwy 370
Bellevue , NE  68005-3591

Military Representative
Offut Air Force Base 55th Wing Support Group Commander —
Col. Dave Norton

8/4/2017 to 8/4/
Offutt Air Force Base  NE
Military Family Education Liaison
Sara Hulac,
Legal Counsel II
Nebraska Department of Education

Nebraska Department of Education
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987

Agenda / Minutes

Agenda / Minutes – DRAFT – September 15, 2015

Agenda / Minutes – September 22, 2014

Agenda / Minutes – September 26, 2013

Agenda / Minutes – September 28, 2012


Contact Us

Matthew L. Blomstedt

Deputy Commissioner
School Improvement and Support
Deborah A. Frison

Deputy Commissioner
Chief of Staff
Brian Halstead

Deputy Commissioner
Vocational Rehabilitation
Mark Schultz

Chief Information Officer
Dean Folkers

Chief Academic Officer
Cory Epler

Administrative Assistant
to the Commissioner

Denise Fisher

Administrative Assistant
Lora Sypal

Administrative Associate III
Jason Gomez

Professional Practices Commission
Kelly Muthersbaugh

Executive Director
Nebraska State Board of Education

Ryan Foor


From the Commissioner

Matthew L. Blomstedt


Commissioner Blomstedt

AQuESTT is Working, Generating Conversations Statewide About Continuous School Improvement

February 4, 2016

The AQuESTT results are out. You know how your school and district were classified. Now the real work begins.

Today I want to weigh in on the conversations that are taking place statewide in our schools about AQuESTT, discussions about what the classifications really mean and how this new, next-generation accountability system ― Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow ― informs continuous improvement.

The overarching goal is: Support and rewards for every student, school and educator.

AQuESTT has given all of us ― educators statewide ― a framework for our conversations about continuous school improvement.

One of AQuESTT’s strengths is the conversation that has begun in our schools, at the state level among policy makers and, most importantly, the conversation among teachers who are the heart of student learning ― teachers who have an educated eye to recognize what works well in the classroom and how to build on it.

As an engaged teacher, you already know how your school was classified, your district’s classification and what those classification’s mean in the terms of the strengths and breadth of the initiatives your school has in place.

You also are talking now about how to build on those initiatives and identifying new ones to improve learning of every student every day.

Your school and district profiles, which were based on data from the final classification and the Evidence-Based Analysis, were designed to be diagnostic and to support your continuous improvement work.

But, whether your school or district received a classification of great, good, needs improvement or the highest classification of excellent, we all can always get better, find new and better ways to connect with students, expand learning opportunities for children, build stronger relationships with parents and the community, better help students transition between grades, use test results more effectively to inform instruction and help all students set goals at all grade levels so they graduate college and career ready.

AQuESTT recognizes that teachers are key to continuous school improvement.

Teachers are key to improving classroom instruction, key to building those critical connections and relationships with students and their families, key to also building community support for their schools.

As Commissioner, I applaud your dedication and your work on behalf of all Nebraska students.

Thank you. I encourage you to call Nebraska Department of Education staff or me if you need assistance or guidance as you move forward in your key role in continuous school improvement.


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.

Matt L Blomstedt

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.


Deb Frison

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

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

Mark Schultz, Deputy Commissioner
Vocational Rehabilitation

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

Go to Top