Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matthew Blomstedt is resigning effective January 3, one day after his 9th anniversary of being named to the post.
He says he made the announcement now to give the State Board of Education time to pick his successor for a smooth transition.
Blomstedt says leaving is a “hard choice” but that he’d always expected to stay about 8-to-10 years, although he admits the past 2 years with the pandemic and a strong public reaction against proposed health standards “takes its too.”
He’s not revealing details of his future plans, citing only “opportunities personally and professionally” that have him “excited” about a job beginning next year with a national education policy consulting firm.
State Board President Patricia Koch-Johns calls Blomstedt “a great leader of the Department of Education who has been a champion for all students and families.”
She adds the “state has become a national leader in education” under his leadership and that “he inspired us to work in the best interest of all Nebraskans.”
As commissioner, Blomstedt oversaw implementation of the State Board’s 2016 strategic plan and a new comprehensive state accountability system for schools
Blomstedt says while he’s proud of many things he’s accomplished in his nearly 9 years as Education Commissioner, he’s “most proud of the opportunity to have served with so many dedicated board members, staff, and partners in this work over the years.”
Blomstedt is a native Nebraskan whose bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD all come from the University of Nebraska. Before becoming commissioner, he spent 5 years as executive director of the Nebraska Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council.