The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.



As a membership organization, NASBE is governed by a board of directors, which includes representation from each of NASBE’s four regions: Northeast, Southern, Central, and Western. New state board members and NASBE affiliates are also represented on NASBE’s board.


 

Christine Benson

Christine Benson
Chair

Dr. Christine Benson is a member of the Illinois State Board of Education. She is a retired career educator with 35 years of experience, 17 as a teacher and 18 as an administrator in Illinois public elementary, middle, and high schools. She served as a central office administrator focusing on budget management, curriculum development, and […]




Janet Cannon

Janet Cannon
Immediate Past Chair

Janet Cannon was first elected to the Utah State Board of Education in 1994. She was subsequently re-elected and served on the Board through 2012. After a four-year hiatus, she is back serving a fifth term on the Utah State Board of Education. She is a strong advocate of NASBE and previously served as western area […]




Fern Desjardins

Fern Desjardins
Secretary-Treasurer

Fern Desjardins was nominated to the Maine State Board of Education by former Governor Paul LePage and was confirmed by the Maine Senate in April 2018 for a term of 5 years. She currently serves on the state board’s construction committee and sits on the Maine Charter School Commission. In the past, Desjardins has served […]




Keven Ellis

Keven Ellis
Southern Area Director

Keven Ellis was elected to the Texas State Board of Education in November of 2016 and re-elected in 2020 and 2022.  He is currently chair of the board having been appointed to this leadership role by Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 16, 2019. The appointment was confirmed by the Texas Senate in a 31-0 vote. […]




Woody Exley

Woody Exley
Northeastern Area Director

Elwood (Woody) Exley, Jr. was appointed to the Connecticut State Board of Education by Governor Ned Lamont in June 2020. He is the owner of Exley Communications LLC, a 31-year-old enterprise that which provides editorial services to major corporations in Connecticut and beyond. In collaboration with the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, Exley manages […]




McCall Flynn

McCall Flynn
NCSBEE Representative

McCall Flynn serves as executive director of the Montana Board of Public Education. Prior, Flynn served eight years under Governor Steve Bullock in numerous capacities, such as project manager, policy advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, and education policy advisor. Flynn has worked extensively with legislators and legislative staff, the Office of Public Instruction, members of […]




Patti Gubbels

Patti Gubbels
Central Area Director

Patti was elected to the Nebraska State Board of Education in 2020 after serving for six years on the Norfolk Public Schools Board of Education. She spent 30+ years working in higher education positions before retiring. Her career included teaching education and psychology courses at Northeast Community College, Wayne State College, and the University of […]




Maria A. Gutierrez

Maria A. Gutierrez
Western Area Director

Gutierrez is the longest-serving member of the Guam Education Board. In her 23 years of service, Gutierrez has been a strong advocate for students and families, always ensuring their voices are heard by the board.  She was instrumental in creating a seat for a parent and student on the Guam board and for the last […]




Ken Kuraya

Ken Kuraya
New Member Representative

Ken Kuraya is an at-large member of the Hawaii State Board of Education. He is completing the term of former member Catherine Payne’s, who resigned in June 2022. Kuraya is an educator who served for over 40 years in various roles within the Hawai’i State Department of Education (HIDOE) from the classroom to the administration. […]




Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore
Chair-elect

Sarah Moore was appointed to the Arkansas State Board of Education in 2018 by Governor Asa Hutchinson to represent Arkansas’ first congressional district. A resident of Stuttgart, Moore taught elementary school in the Stuttgart School District and then worked at the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. In addition, she has worked […]




Mackenzie Williams

Mackenzie Williams
NCOSEA Representative

Mackenzie Williams graduated with honors and Order of the Coif from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2007. After graduating, Williams served as staff attorney for the Honorable E. James Burke of the Wyoming Supreme Court for two years and followed that by serving one year each as a law clerk for the […]






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Leading and Governing

Is there another domestic policy space more complicated than state education governance? In the face of the 50-plus ways of constructing state systems of public education in this country, the authors in this issue of The Standard attempt to tease out what constitutes strong leadership and effective governance.

Legislative Conference 2023

NASBE's 2023 Legislative Conference will be held March 19-21, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
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