Wyoming Chief Jillian Balow Assumes CCSSO Board Presidency


ATLANTA (November 12, 2019) – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced its 2019-20 Board of Directors following elections at the 2019 Annual Policy Forum in Atlanta.  

Jillian Balow, Superintendent of Public Instruction in Wyoming, assumed the presidency and Matthew Blomstedt, the Nebraska Commissioner of Education was chosen as president-elect.  

CCSSO members also elected Kirsten Baesler, the Superintendent of Public Instruction in North Dakota, Michael Johnson, the Commissioner in Alaska, Christina Kishimoto, the Superintendent of Education in Hawaii, Molly Spearman, the State Superintendent of Education in South Carolina and Carey Wright, the Superintendent of Education in Mississippi to serve on the Board of Directors. They will join President Balow, President-Elect Blomstedt, Past President Pedro Rivera of Pennsylvania and current Board members to make up the 2019-20 CCSSO Board of Directors. 

CCSSO's Board of Directors manages the overall business affairs of the Council and is the governing body of the organization. The board is composed of the president, the president-elect, the past president, and six directors elected by the members from the CCSSO membership. 

“The state chiefs elected to CCSSO’s board share a steadfast commitment to ensuring every student thrives in school and graduates high school ready for college and career. Equity is at the heart of the work America’s state chiefs do every day, and I look forward to working with this board to continue that responsibility,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director of CCSSO.  

“Serving as CCSSO President is a rare and unique opportunity and I look forward to continue highlighting the great work states are doing to ensure every student has access to a well-rounded education," said Balow. "Past-President Rivera elevated the conditions that are necessary for learning. Through our partnerships, and our shared vision for children, I hope we can continue this work and also include learning that meaningfully contributes to children's success but that takes place 'beyond the bell' or, outside of the classroom." 

The following is a list of CCSSO's 2019-20 Board of Directors: 

•President: Jillian Balow, Wyoming 

•President-Elect: Matthew Blomstedt, Nebraska 

•Past President: Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania    

•Board Member: Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota 

•Board Member: Sydnee Dickson, Utah 

•Board Member: Michael Johnson, Alaska 

•Board Member: Christina Kishimoto, Hawaii 

•Board Member: Molly Spearman, South Carolina  

•Board Member: Carey Wright, Mississippi 


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public. 

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