For Immediate Release: August 13, 2018
Contact: Michael Spaeth, michael.spaeth@nasbe.org, 703-684-4002

State Board of Education Members Jane Goff, Jim McNiece, and Patricia Timm Receive National Public Service Award

Alexandria, VA—The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is pleased to announce that state education leaders from Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska are recipients of NASBE’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award. This national award honors current and former state board members who have made exceptional contributions to education. It is given to three outstanding leaders each year and is the highest award that NASBE can bestow on a state board of education member.

Jane Goff has been a member of the Colorado State Board of Education since 2008 and has served as a mentor for new members of the board. She had a 34-year career with Jefferson County (Jeffco) Public Schools as a French and Spanish teacher and director of the district’s World Languages and International Student Exchange programs. She was a legislative aide for the Colorado House of Representatives, president of the Jefferson County Education Association, and vice president of the Colorado Education Association. She also chaired NASBE’s board of directors in 2014.

Goff coordinated Jeffco Public Schools’ first Teacher Performance pay pilots and helped to design the Links for Learning program, a teacher-employer partnership between the Jeffco Schools and the West Chamber of Commerce. She was the first teacher graduate of Leadership Jefferson County, and she has served as an appointed member or liaison on many state and local committees and councils. She was often consulted on matters related to school safety and crisis response following the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, presenting the teacher perspective to local, state, and national audiences.

“Jane’s belief that Colorado’s future rests on giving each student every opportunity to succeed guides her inspiring career to empower educators and serve Colorado’s youth,” said Colorado State Board of Education Chairwoman Angelika Schroeder. “Her experiences as a former teacher, legislative aide, and more have made the state’s education policies stronger and have benefitted Colorado students. Her passion for improving Colorado’s education system can be seen in all that she does as an effective member of the state board of education.”

Jim McNiece joined the Kansas State Board of Education in 2013 and served as chairman from 2015 to 2017. He also chaired NASBE’s board of directors in 2016. McNiece and the entire state board helped Kansas’s commissioner of education set state-level outcomes for the state’s Kansans Can vision for education, which the state approved in 2015. Two key areas that McNiece has championed are civic engagement and individual plans of study. He also serves on the Kansans Can School Redesign Project crew, and he has pushed for evidence of accountability as the state transitions to a new systems accreditation model.

He has been instrumental in increasing awareness of state board roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments. He has led efforts to build relationships with multiple stakeholders by organizing interactive events with House and Senate Education Committees and roundtable discussions with business leaders and superintendents. He is a voice at the legislature to ensure that the state board’s constitutional obligations are not overshadowed.

“Jim is a visionary leader,” said Kansas State Board of Education Chairman Jim Porter. “He has effectively used his considerable skills to help develop the Kansans Can vision. Jim has been an educational leader for decades, and his service on the Kansas State Board of Education and his leadership role in NASBE culminates a distinguished and exemplary career. I am proud that I have the opportunity to know and serve with Jim. This award is well deserved.”

Patricia Timm has been a member of the Nebraska State Board of Education since 2004 and served twice as its president. She currently serves as vice president of the state board. She is a former kindergarten and K-12 art teacher and Beatrice Public Schools Board of Education member. In 2010, Timm was a member of NASBE’s Study Group on Education and the Military.

She is a member of the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission, a group of approximately 40 public and private sector leaders working to develop a comprehensive plan for expanding and strengthening the state’s early childhood workforce. Timm has championed Nebraska’s participation in NASBE’s Early Childhood Education Network, including the development of the work plan for a NASBE grant to investigate and improve early childhood education workforce conditions in the state.

She promoted the implementation of Step Up to Quality and related legislation, initiating a quality-based system for rating child care and early childhood education programs, promoting the affordability of high-quality programs. She advocated for adoption of the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines, and the state board adopted these guidelines this year.

“Experience and outstanding board leadership are trademarks of Patricia Timm,” said Nebraska State Board of Education President John Witzel. “As the highest tenured board member, serving over 14 years, Patricia is the person that new board members and Nebraska Department of Education staff members alike seek out for advice and guidance. Her passion for early childhood education also has advanced many initiatives addressing the urgent needs of our young people. Throughout her career, Patricia has been an enthusiastic advocate and champion for all students.”

“Jane, Jim, and Patricia are exceptional public servants who have led distinguished careers working to ensure that all students have an excellent education,” said NASBE Board Chair John Kelly. “We thank them for their successful leadership, and we are proud to honor them for all of their hard work over the years.”

The 2018 Distinguished Service Awards will be presented at NASBE’s national conference in Denver, Colorado. Learn more about the conference.

NASBE is the only national organization giving voice and adding value to the nation’s state boards of education. A nonprofit organization founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, and ensure continued citizen support for public education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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