Jessica Bird, the assistant dean for nontraditional outreach programs at Newman, has been selected to fill the higher education administrator position on the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Accreditation Advisory Council.
The role of the KSDE Accreditation Advisory Council is to review and give input to KSDE staff concerning documents and procedures, act as K-12 accreditation advocates and provide advice and counsel to the State Board of Education on issues of policy, regulations, corrective action plans and more — all of which Bird will be responsible for in her role.
“Bird will be an excellent representative on the council,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly McDowall Long. “She brings unique understanding of the needs of teachers, students and communities in rural Kansas that will make her an incredible asset for the entire Kansas teaching and learning community.”
Bird, who said she has not had a formal association with KSDE until now, received news of her selection on Aug. 29. Her term on the council began immediately and will continue through June 30, 2020.
“I was honored to be nominated and selected to serve on the Accreditation Advisory Council for the KSDE,” Bird said. “I’m looking forward to a new learning experience and opportunity to serve in this role.”
Bird is beginning her fourth year at Newman. She started as the director of the Western Kansas Center in Dodge City and assistant professor for the school of education but was promoted during summer 2017 to assistant dean of outreach. She now works with both the western Kansas and southeast Kansas outreach locations and continues to teach as an assistant professor for the school of education at Newman.
“I am eager to be part of the accreditation process as we work together to continue to make K-12 education successful,” Bird said. “I think representing higher education on this council will be a phenomenal learning experience and will also allow me to enhance our teacher education programs at Newman University.”
Long added, “(Bird’s) appointment is a continuation of our commitment to foster oneness while empowering and serving others. KSDE is very lucky to have her.”