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

NASBE Honors Past President and CEO Kristen Amundson with Award


Alexandria, Va.—The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is pleased to announce that Kristen Amundson, past president and CEO of NASBE, will receive its 2020 David A. Kysilko Award. NASBE’s Board of Directors gives this award to an individual who has demonstrated unwavering commitment to NASBE’s values and to service on behalf of state boards of education.

Before her retirement from NASBE, Amundson represented the 44th District in the Virginia General Assembly for a decade. She also served for nearly a decade on the Fairfax County School Board, including two years as its chair. She was senior vice president for external affairs at Education Sector, an independent think tank; served on Virginia’s P–16 Council, the Southern Regional Education Board; and was a Virginia commissioner to the Education Commission of the States. Amundson also co-founded la BECA Women’s Scholarship Foundation, which helps young women in Central and South America pursue their educational dreams. She co-led a mentoring initiative at Christ Church in Alexandria called Kids of Note and is currently launching EduTutorVA, a nonprofit organization that is designed to close learning gaps by providing one-on-one tutoring in core academic areas by trained college students and alumni. Two other EduTutorVA co-founders are former members of the Virginia State Board of Education. Her book, 81 Questions for Parents: Helping Your Kids Succeed in School, will be published later this year.

An ardent supporter of state boards as well as equity and excellence in education, Amundson successfully advocated at the federal level for increased state authority under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law during her tenure. She penned op-eds in major daily newspapers to advance the work of state boards, spoke on numerous panels regarding education, and frequently collaborated with other state-facing education organizations on issues before Congress and the U.S. Department of Education.

As NASBE president and CEO from 2013 to 2019, Amundson led the association through a strategic planning process to target resources to issues of greatest priority for its membership. She designed new projects and acquired revenue to support them, increased the quality of member convenings and publications, helped state boards with strategic planning and crisis management, and focused attention on members’ boardsmanship skills. Amundson also wrote “NASBE at 60: State Boards Reflect the History of Public Education in America.”

“Kris’s impact is lasting. She continuously sought and found a seat at the table for state boards on national education policy,” said Brooke Axiotis, NASBE board chair. “Even in her retirement, she is working tirelessly to ensure equity and access to an excellent education for students everywhere.”

The David A. Kysilko Award will be presented at NASBE’s virtual annual conference on October 21, 2020.

NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances.

###




Related Content



Featured Items

Equity in Rural Education

Authors of the January 2021 issue of the State Education Standard discuss the issues faced by rural schools and how the pandemic has amplified many of those issues.
Image Credit: Flickr User Blink O'fanaye i

Statement on Horrific Events at U.S. Capitol

NASBE condemns the actions of the riotous mob at the U.S. Capitol unequivocally, as we condemn all acts of terror and violence, as antithetical to what state boards of education value.
Black Lives Matter Protest, Image Credit: iStock i

State Boards Advance Equity Agendas in Challenging Times

State boards of education are uniquely placed to help eliminate the political divides that impede decisive action to end inequities in learning. Nebraska, New York, and North Carolina are three states pushing for meaningful change in their state systems.

Upcoming Events

From the States