Nebraska State Board of Education member Patsy Koch Johns announced Tuesday that she will seek re-election to a second term in 2020.

A Nebraska State Teacher of the Year who taught in rural and urban Nebraska schools for more than four decades, Koch Johns said she wants to continue advocating for children, opportunity and quality public education on the state board.

“Three years ago, I began a journey to hear your ideas, concerns, and hopes for our education system,” Koch Johns said. “Every day, I hear from teachers, administrators, and community members who share their valuable perspectives from inside and outside the classroom. Most importantly, I’ve met thousands of kids whose trials and triumphs guide my every decision. For them, I am ready to keep going.”

Koch Johns supported the updated Nebraska State Science Standards in 2017, which emphasize critical thinking, scientific inquiry and problem-solving as the primary goal of science education.

She also has been a driving force behind the development of the Nebraska Department of Education’s “equity lens,” a tool which would help educational policymakers consider inclusivity and institutional equity when they make decisions.

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She is chair of the state education board’s student success and access committee, which leads the effort to ensure all Nebraskans have equitable access to opportunities for success.

Her priorities for her second term include implementing the equity lens and promoting the teaching of artistic creativity alongside science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Nebraska’s economic future depends in large part on the type of education our young people receive,” Koch Johns said. “The success of our ‘Silicon Prairie’ will be written and engineered by thinkers who can combine innovative creativity with scientific inquiry.”

Koch Johns represents District 1, which includes most of Lincoln and southern and eastern sections of Lancaster County. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist.


Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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