If you’re an honest, experienced, visionary education leader, the Nebraska State Board of Education may have a job for you.
Board members Friday reached a consensus on some attributes they want in the next Nebraska commissioner of education.
It appears that applicants may not need to be a former superintendent, though having that on one’s resume might help convince some board members that you’re the right one for the job.
Being energetic, charismatic, a critical thinker and a good negotiator also are on the want list.
Consultants with a search firm led the members in a brainstorming session to determine the board’s wants. The attributes identified by the board will be fine-tuned in the coming days and form the basis of the job description for the position.
The board is paying a search firm, McPherson and Jacobson, to help it find a replacement for Matt Blomstedt. He resigned Tuesday and joined a Washington, D.C., firm.
Among the top character traits board members seek are honesty, trustworthiness and fairness.
“We need to be able to trust our new commissioner to fulfill the vision that we have on a day-to-day basis,” said Elizabeth Tegtmeier, a member from North Platte. “And if we as a board can’t trust him or her, the public won’t be able to trust us either.”
And as for professional experience, board members said they want a visionary educational leader who’s a creative problem-solver and a good communicator. The candidate, they said, should have experience with complex organizations and varied school districts and setting.
Board President Patti Gubbels said applicants should have experience managing a large organization like the Nebraska Department of Education with its multiple responsibilities.
Board members Deborah Neary of Omaha and Kirk Penner of Aurora indicated during the meeting they wanted someone with superintendent experience. Penner narrowed that further, saying he wanted someone with experience as a Nebraska superintendent and someone with “backbone.”
Last week, Melissa Poloncic, president of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, said many superintendents and educators across the state would like the next commissioner to have superintendent experience.
One of the consultants, Steve Joel, a former superintendent for Lincoln Public Schools, cautioned the board against making superintendent experience a requirement.
New Nebraska state test scores show extent of COVID academic slide
Joel said that could exclude potentially good candidates, such as assistant or deputy commissioners in other states who are ready to be commissioners but don’t have superintendent experience.
Penner said he still would like a person from the superintendent ranks.
“I understand you don’t want to be too specific,” Penner said. “But this is one that I’m personally looking for and hoping we find a qualified Nebraska superintendent.”
Board member Sherry Jones said she wants someone with “fear of the Lord” who understands and appreciates Midwestern values.
Jones said that God’s word says “a fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and that a person who fears will lack nothing.
“That’s what I want for our commissioner, to be wise and to lack nothing,” Jones said.
Jones, interviewed after the meeting, said her faith is foundational in her life. She said the nation has drifted from the biblical principles on which it was founded.
Joel said he would like to begin advertising the position in the next five to 10 days.
The public will have a chance to weigh in via an online survey.
The timetable calls for naming finalists in late March.
The Lincoln Journal Star’s top photos from 2022
The Grand Island bowling team celebrates the victory against Northwest during the boys state bowling team championships, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, at Sun Valley Lanes. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star
Fremont’s Benny Alfaro celebrates his win in a Class A 195-pound semifinals match with head coach Ben Wilcox, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, at CHI Health Center Omaha. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star
Papillion-La Vista/Papillion La Vista-South’s Landon Orth competes in the boys state diving championship on Thursday at the Devaney Sports Center.
Charuth Van Beuzekom, who owns Shadow Brook Farm and Dutch Girl Creamery with husband Kevin Loth, enjoys the company of a day-old kid in the barn on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
Felipe Gonzalez-Vazquez talks with his attorneys Nancy Peterson (left) and Candice Wooster during his trial for the murder of Lincoln Police Investigator Mario Herrera, Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Platte County District Court. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star
Lt. Col. Christopher Perrone (R), of Papillion, hugs his daughter, Faith, 21, during a welcome home event for soldiers of the Nebraska National Guard’s 67th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade on Friday, March 11, 2022, at the Nebraska Army National Guard base. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
Russ Largent of Lincoln and Beth Ramsay of Seward celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at McKinney’s Irish Pub in downtown Lincoln on Thursday.
Lincoln, NE – 4/7/2022 – University of Nebraska Board of Regents members listen as Mark Riley (foreground), Associate Dean for research in the college of engineering, gives a tour of Othmer Hall on Thursday, April 7, 2022. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
Lincoln, NE – 3/30/2022 – Kay, a one-month-old female giraffe, is fed Shadow Brook Farm goat milk from a bottle by giraffe keeper Jake Beiermann on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at Lincoln Children’s Zoo. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
A field is darkened after a wildfire, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, near Arapahoe, Neb. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star
Josh Vinson Jr., 5, winner of the first Josh Fight, sports a crown in his hair done by his dad, Josh Sr., on Monday, April 18, 2022, at Culture Cutz. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
Seven Native lodges stand on land that was approved for development on the west side of Wilderness Park in protest of the development.
Juju Tyner (center, in green) holds a sign in support of Roe vs. Wade as she joined others in a pro-abortion rights rally on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, on the north steps of the Capitol.
Lincoln East’s Elijah Jobst (8) blocks a shot by Lincoln Southwest’s Lane Kruse (16) during a Class A boys state soccer first-round match Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
Lincoln Southeast’s Lilly Talley (left) and doubles partner Lily Rippeteau celebrate a point in the No. 2 doubles finals of the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at Woods Tennis Center. GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star
Dee and Ronald Baddorf (from left) scratch Lucy, their mini-pig, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. The Baddorfs are hoping the Lincoln City Council will approve a waiver so they can keep Lucy at their Lincoln home. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star
Nebraska state Sen. Julie Slama hugs a campaign volunteer after a press conference hosted by Citizens for Voter ID at the Capitol on Thursday. Citizens for Voter ID submitted petitions to the secretary of state to add a voter ID requirement to the state constitution.
Teri King (left) and Tom Dorshorst dance during The Zoo Bar’s ZooFest music festival July 8.
Skaters wait for results of the creative solo competition Saturday at the USA Roller Sports Roller Figure Skating Indoor National Championships at Speedway Sports Complex.
LINCOLN, NEB. – 07/31/2022 – Fair attendees find shade under a carnival ride during the Lancaster County Super Fair, Sunday, July 31, 2022. NOAH RIFFE, Journal Star
LINCOLN, NEB. – 08/05/2022 – Kyle Martsching stands behind an art piece made by Jessica R. during a gallery show hosted by LiveYes Studios, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. LiveYes Studios is a community arts center that supports artists with disabilities. NOAH RIFFE, Journal Star
A house located at 2636 Woodscrest Avenue is demolished, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. The Norman Revival home, purchased last September for $1.4 million, is over 100 years old and was built for the Miller and Paine department store family.
A dog shakes of water during Dog Splash at Star City Shores sponsored by the Lincoln Parks Foundation and the Greater Lincoln Obedience Club, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022.
LINCOLN, NEB. – 08/19/2022 – Griffin Schleimer plays the trumpet during the Cornhusker Marching Band Exhibition at Memorial Stadium, Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. NOAH RIFFE, Journal Star
Jesse Poore (left) and Amanda Fitzgerald (right) wash a bike during the Garmin Gravel Worlds, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. Gravel Worlds is one of the largest gravel bike races in the world.
Lincoln North Star players celebrate after winning a softball game against Lincoln Pius X Thursday at Doris Bair Softball Complex.
Lincoln North Star’s Jace Coleman (14) is tackled by Lincoln Northeast on Thursday at Seacrest Field.
Lincoln High prepares to walk out of the tunnel to play Omaha Northwest on Friday at Beechner Complex.
Nebraska tight end Nate Boerkircher (49) fist-bumps Teddy Davison after the Huskers’ win against North Dakota on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Fans fill CHI Health Center Omaha to watch the match between Nebraska and Creighton on Wednesday.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost walks off the field after the Huskers lost to Georgia Southern on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Scott Frost enters a truck to exit Memorial Stadium on Sunday after he was fired as Nebraska’s head football coach.
S-E-M’s Creyton Line (left) grabs the helmet of Parkview Christian’s Alex Rohrbaugh on Friday, Sept. 9, at Larry and Carol Frost Field.
The marquee of the Joyo Theatre, 6102 Havelock Ave., offered a sympathetic message to Scott Frost on Monday, a day after he was fired as Nebraska’s football coach.
Nebraska’s Malcolm Hartzog (13) and Nebraska wide receiver Ty Hahn (17) celebrate after Hartzog scooped up a blocked punt for a touchdown on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Lincoln Pius X’s Nicole Kolbas (middle) reacts after completing the 18th hole at the state girls golf tournament Tuesday at Norfolk Country Club. Kolbas shot a 36-hole 151 to win the tournament for the third consecutive year.
The crowd celebrates Nebraska’s 300th sellout with a card stunt during a break before the third set against Iowa on Friday at the Devaney Sports Center.
The Color Guard presents the U.S. and Nebraska Flag during Lincoln Veterans Parade on Sunday.
Junior Anna Metzger (left) and sophomore Sammie Frank show off their dance moves at a rehearsal of Lincoln North Star’s winter musical “Jingle Arrgh the Way!” on Tuesday at North Star.
Ellie Duros (right) takes second place during the Turkey Chase go-kart race Sunday at Lancaster Event Center.
Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule throws a football to the gathering crowd, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Lincoln.
Travis Mannschreck stocks records on the opening day of his business, First Day Vinyl , Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, First Day Vinyl Lincoln.
Nebraska assistant coach Mickey Joseph walks out of Lancaster County Department of Corrections, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Lincoln.
Construction workers pour and rake fresh concrete Tuesday near 12th and Judson streets. The road work is being paid for by Lincoln On The Move, a program that collected $16.8 million this year to spend on street improvements.
Dorothy Applebee, who is 92 years old, uses a leaf blower to clean up leaves in her yard with the help of her son, Bob Unger (not pictured), on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, at in Lincoln. As the signs of winter began to slowly show itself. As cold winds are expected to continue throughout the week, accompanied by partly cloudy weather.
Lincoln East’s Sam Cappos throws the shot put over 60 feet during the Boys shot put event at Beechner Athletic Complex on April 21, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Former NFL player Jack Brewer (on screen) leads a crowd of Trump and Hebrster supporters in a prayer during a Trump rally for Charles Herbster at the I-80 Speedway on May 1, 2022, in Greenwood, Nebraska.
As seen through open cable holders, avid supporters of Gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster and former president Donald Trump cheer as Herbster takes the stage during a Trump rally for Charles Herbster at the I-80 Speedway on May 1, 2022, in Greenwood, Nebraska.
Trent Claus, a VFX supervisor and animation art collector, reminisces with some of his art and a couch for watching Saturday morning cartoons on, at the Eisentrager/Howard Gallery in Richards Hall on the UNL campus on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Lincoln, NE. Claus has worked on 120 feature films for his VFX work. Many will know his work with Marvel Studios. Trent has contributed to 21 of their 27 films to date. He also assists with Television shows like, The Mandalorian.
Andie Trimble (left) and Nicole Polivka (right) wear red paint stained dresses while protesting the recent Supreme Court decision during a Abortion Rights Rally held in front of the Nebraska State Capitol on Monday, July 4, 2022, in Lincoln, NE.
athletes shadows stretch along stadium wall as fans watch the 200 meter dash at Beechner Athletic Complex on April 21, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
A dying ray of light catches Nebraska starting pitcher Dawson McCarville as he pitches against Omaha during the first inning at Haymarket on April 27, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Children and adults take advantage of the warm weather to cool off at the Trago Spray Park on Friday, June 10, 2022, in Lincoln, NE. A partially cloudy Friday afternoon did not stop Lincolnites from getting out an enjoying the air weather. With highs reaching the mid 80s, the mild heat and a cooling breeze made for a nice afternoon outside. Looking ahead to the following week, temperatures will reach as high as 100 fahrenheit.
Luca Yeager licks his lips after downing Kool-Aid in a quickest drinking contest, during the Kool-Aid Days Festival, at the Adams County Fair grounds, on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Hastings, NE. Thousands of “kids” of all ages gather to celebrate the invention of Kool-Aid®, Nebraska’s Official Soft Drink, by Edwin Perkins in 1927. KENNETH FERRIERA, Journal Star
Nebraska interim head coach Mickey Joseph shouts encouragements to his players during warmups before taking on Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Memorial Stadium.
A airman walks along the wing of now retired WC-135C/W, during a retirement ceremony for the final “nuke sniffer” aircraft used by The Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth at the Lincoln Airport on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Lincoln, NE. The WC-135 Constant Phoenix is a special-purpose aircraft derived from the Boeing C-135 Stratolifter and used by the United States Air Force. Its mission is to collect samples from the atmosphere for the purpose of detecting and identifying nuclear explosions. It is also informally referred to as the “weather bird” or “the sniffer” by workers on the program and international media respectively. The 55th Wing will retired one of it jets and welcomed its latest during a 1 p.m. ceremony at the Lincoln Airport. The Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth officially retired the WC-135C/W and officially welcomed WC-135R tail number 4836 to its fleet. Tail 4836 is the first of three WC-135R deliveries to the wing, while tail 2667 is the last of the old WC-135C/W fleet to be retired.
Ashland-Greenwood’s Dane Jacobsen practices throws during warmups before their game against Aurora at the Ashland Football Field, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Ashland-Greenwood, NE.
Lincoln East’s Hudson Davy races toward the finish line in the boys varsity race during the Harold Scott Invitational held at Pioneers Park on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, in Lincoln, NE.
Mourners gather and lay gifts and flowers on Monday at the foot of a tree on Randolph Street, at the scene of a fatal accident where six individuals died on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.
Lincoln Lutheran’s Sophie Wohlgemuth (first right) celebrates with her team after scoring a point in the first set during a Class C-2 semifinal state volleyball match on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska’s Bekka Allick (left) and Nicklin Hames react after a kill by one of their teammates secures a score against Mississippi in the second set at the Devaney Sports Center on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Lincoln, NE.
Nebraska’s Whitney Lauenstein celebrates after scoring a kill during the fifth set against Ohio State on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at the Devaney Sports Center.
The Lincoln Southeast football team burst through their banner to take the field against Lincoln North Star on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Seacrest Field, in Lincoln.
Elkhorn South’s Kennadi Borngrebe (top left) celebrates with her teammates after throwing the final strike in the 7th inning to beat Lincoln East 10-7, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, at Malcolm Public Schools in Malcolm.
Runners in the Class C boys group take off on the first leg of the race during the state cross country championship on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, at Kearney Country Club in Kearney.
Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito (far left) looks down field for an open man while pressured by the Nebraska defense in the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska’s Garrett Nelson (bottom, first right) hands off the Heroes Trophy to fans after defeating Iowa for the first time since 2014, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa.
Lincoln Southwest celebrates on the court after defeating No.1 ranked Millard South during a Class A girls semifinal game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on March 9, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska. KENNETH FERRIERA, Journal Star
Matt Rhule, who was announced as Nebraska football’s new head coach, is swarmed by media after an introductory press conference on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at the Hawks Championship Center. Rhule was introduced as the University’s 31st permanent head coach, The 47-year-old, has experience coaching at both the collegiate level and the professional level. Working as a head coach for the past 10 years, seven in college programs and three season for the Carolina Panthers. Nebraska signed Rhule to an eight-year contract
A farmer uses a corn combine to harvest his crop on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Johnson, NE. Based on June 1 conditions, Nebraska’s 2022 winter wheat crop is forecast at 36.9 million bushels, down 10% from last year’s crop, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Lincoln, NE – 09/17/2022 – Nebraska’s Anthony Grant (10) hurdles Oklahoma’s Kani Walker (26) and Damond Harmon (17) during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Lincoln at Memorial Stadium .
Nebraska’s C.J. Wilcher (left) and Emmanuel Bandoumel react after a foul called in the final nine seconds of the overtime period on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Players from the Lincoln special Olympics basketball teams compete on the newly painted courts on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at the Antelope Park basketball courts in Lincoln. The Antelope Park basketball courts near the intersection of Normal Boulevard and South Street were recently repainted as a reproduction of a painting “Red Sea” by African American artist Felrath Hines.
Sam Volkmer (left), Matthew Bittinger (center), and Alma Cerretta play a board game, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Mana Games Cafe in Lincoln. Volkmer and Cerretta co-own Mana Games Cafe, a place for board game enthusiasts can gather and play together. Mana Games Cafe is located at, 701 P St. Suite 102, right across the hall from Ivana Cone.
Sister Janelle Buettner speaks with Kolby Tran about his science homework Friday at North American Martyrs Catholic School.