Kansas State Board of Education member McNiece wins prestigious national education award

State Board of Education member Jim McNiece, of Wichita, has received the National Association of State Boards of Education 2018 Distinguished Service Award.

McNiece, who has served on the State Board since 2013 including a stint as chairman, has approximately 40 years of education experience as a teacher, coach and principal in both public and private schools.

NASBE, the only national organization representing the nation’s school boards, also named Jane Goff, a member of the Colorado State Board of Education, and Patricia Timm, of the Nebraska State Board of Education, recipients of the annual award, which is given to outstanding leaders and is the highest award that NASBE bestows on a state board of education member.

McNiece and the entire State Board helped Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson 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 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 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 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.”

McNiece also served as NASBE’s board chairman in 2016.

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 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.

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.

Here is a link to the full news release from NASBE.

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