MDE Directory Listing

Office of the Superintendent

  • Office of the Superintendent

    The State Superintendent is appointed by the SBE and is its chair and a non-voting member. As the principal executive officer of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the Superintendent attends the Governor’s meetings with Department Directors and advises the State Legislature on education policy and funding needs. The Superintendent is responsible for the implementation of bills passed by the State Legislature and policies established by the SBE. The Superintendent is a major spokesperson for education in the state, serves as the primary liaison to the United States Department of Education (USED) and other federal agencies, and provides efficient and effective management of the USED’s considerable state and federal resources.

    In the fall of 2015, education stakeholders from around the state convened in Lansing to identify goals and strategies to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years. The SBE adopted the plan in February 2016. The Superintendent, while not the sole owner of this statewide strategic plan, provides leadership for its execution, oversees MDE’s efforts to move this plan forward, and tracks and reports on plan progress that is shared at SBE meetings.

    The Office of the Superintendent includes the Chief of Staff, the State Board Executive, the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs, the State School Reform Officer, the Chief Deputy Superintendent, and three Deputy Superintendents overseeing the Finance and Operations Division, the P-20 System and Student Transitions Division, and the Educator, Student, and School Supports Division. 

    State Superintendent: Brian J Whiston
    Phone: 517-241-0494

  • State Board Office

    The State Board Executive is the legal repository of all SBE activities and records. The State Board Executive prepares all Board correspondence, expenses, budget, and scheduling; and prepares all Board meeting agendas, minutes, and follow-up materials. 

    State Board Executive: Marilyn Schneider
    Phone: 517-373-3902

  • Office of Public and Governmental Affairs

    All major legislative initiatives that affect the Revised School Code and legislation relating to education, and Michigan becoming a Top 10 education state in 10 years, are managed by the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs (OPGA). The Director maintains liaison functions with the State Legislature; facilitates communications on legislative issues with internal and external organizations at the state and national levels; responds to all education constituent issues referred by the legislative offices; and acts as the coordinating office with U.S. Congress and federal agencies on federal legislation. This office participates in all aspects of the development, passage, and implementation of state legislative and regulatory initiatives necessary to carry out the mission of MDE. Recommendations are provided to the SBE and the State Superintendent.

    The Office is responsible for overall leadership and implementation of internal and external communications and outreach activities for the Department and the SBE. The office:

    • Develops communications strategies and works with all Department Offices to oversee and coordinate communications efforts
    • Ensures that a clear, coherent and cohesive message is communicated
    • Develops and provides guidance on publications, written documents, and other communications products regarding key programs, policies and initiatives
    • Promotes and supports efforts to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years.
    • Oversees the development of the Department’s website and employee intranet
    • Oversees the live production of monthly SBE meetings, webinars and other electronic media to increase general and specific public awareness and understanding of policies, programs and products
    • Initiates and oversees the creation of specialized and proactive public outreach and information programs on high visibility issues and activities relating to the mission of the Department
    • Serves as the Department's coordinator for Freedom of Information Act requests
    • Develops productive working relationships with the media and the many groups involved in education issues, as well as with the state and local government and non-government agencies and organizations 

    Director: Martin Ackley
    Phone: 517-241-4395
    Email: â€‹

Superintendent Division

  • Superintendent Division

    The Chief Deputy Superintendent is responsible for facilitating the state’s Top 10 in 10 plan to make Michigan one of the top 10 education states in the next 10 years.  This responsibility includes ensuring the following:

    • Learner centered supports focusing on the way students learn and the skills they develop; the systems that support that learning; and the need for individualized supports are available for each and every learner.
    • An effective educator workforce is well prepared and supported in order to build a quality education system.
    • Strategic partnerships with a variety of stakeholders who collaborate to support our children and work together to accomplish our goals and vision.
    • All aspects of the education infrastructure systems are improved so they are functioning effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders.

    This position also assists the State Superintendent by serving as a member of the Superintendent’s leadership team.   


    Chief Deputy Superintendent: Sheila Alles
    Phone: 517-335-8093

  • Human Resources

    The mission of the Office of Human Resources is to provide quality, customer-focused services to the Department of Education in support of its staffing, development and human resource management needs which are necessary for achieving the State Board's goal for Michigan education.


    Director: Joetta Parker
    Phone: 517-373-0794

  • P-20 Data and Information Management

    The Office of Systems and Integration (OSI) is an office within the Division of Accountability Services (DAS). The responsibilities of this office include:

    • Facilitating data coordination activities across MDE
    • State Online Assessment Technical Readiness and Reporting support
    • Program and data management of DAS projects
    • Management of DAS systems (Secure Site, Item Bank System, etc.)
    • Responding to assessment and accountability reporting and analysis requests

    Director: David Judd
    Phone: 517-335-8093

  • Strategic Planning and Implementation

    In order to achieve the desired outcomes for our students and stakeholders, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) needs to provide specific instructions that are implemented with fidelity.  One component of Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 efforts is the construction of a systemic infrastructure to ensure success.  The Office of Strategic Planning & Implementation utilizes processes and procedures to implement MDE’s vision, priorities, and various cross-office initiatives.  Within this work, the Office provides support and coordination of Departmental defined efforts that ultimately assist ISDs and Districts in improving outcomes.  The Office works to build consensus and provide support to MDE leadership and program area specialists to move plans, policies, and initiatives forward.  The Office works to improve efficiency by reducing the duplication of effort and assumes responsibility for the achievement of outcomes defined by the MDE’s vision and priorities.

    Director: Scott Blakeney
    Phone: 517-335-8093 

Educator, Student, and School Supports Division

  • Division of Educator, Student, and School Supports

    The Deputy Superintendent for Accountability Services is responsible for developing and administering assessment and accountability programs comprised of five programs. Michigan Educational Assessment Program and the Merit Examination, Assessment of Students with Disabilities, Assessment of English Language Learners, Accreditation / Accountability, National Assessment of Education Progress. This position also directs the activities and provides leadership and supervision for the department's Offices of

    • Standards and Assessment
    • Evaluation, Strategic Research, and Accountability
    • Accountability Business Operations
    • Systems, Psychometrics, and Measurement Research
    • Professional Preparation Services


    Deputy Superintendent: Venessa Keesler
    Phone: 517-335-0011

  • Educational Assessment and Accountability

    The Office of Standards and Assessment (OSA) oversee the development, design, administration, and reporting of all statewide student assessments. This includes the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP), the Michigan Merit Exam (MME), the MI-Access alternate assessments, and the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) assessments for English learners. The OSA strives, every day, to produce and administer the best assessment tools possible for Michigan students and educators.

    Director: Andrew Middlestead
    Phone: 517-241-4416 

  • Educator Excellence

    The Office of Professional Preparation Services (OPPS) fosters the educational achievement of all Michigan youth and adults, Pre-K through 12th grade, by assuring that all professional school personnel complete quality preparation and professional development programs which meet standards established by the Michigan Legislature and the State Board of Education.

    Director: Leah Breen
    Phone: 517-373-9177

  • Partnership Districts

    • Partnership Agreements to set a new course for the state’s lowest-performing schools are being signed this week by local school districts, the State Superintendent, the state School Reform Officer, and local partners, announced today by the Michigan Department of Education.

      State Superintendent Brian Whiston and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) officials began discussions in March with 10 school districts to develop the Partnership Agreements with the goal of improving achievement levels at the lowest-performing schools in Michigan. 

    Director: Dedrick Martin

  • Student, School, and District Supports
    • High School reform
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Public School Academies
    • High Priority Schools
    • School Improvement
    • Educational Options (dual enrollment, alternative education, advanced placement, international baccalaureate)
    • Educational Technology (competitive grants for Title II, Part D, and other educational technology issues)


    Director: Paula Daniels
    Phone: 517-373-3070

Finance and Operations Division

  • Finance and Operations Division

    The Deputy Superintendent for Administrative and Support Services, provides leadership and supervision for: Grants, Coordination & School Support Services; Financial Management; State Aid and School Finance; Administrative Law & Federal Relations; Audit Functions; and Information Technology

    The Deputy Superintendent also coordinates collaborative efforts with other state government agencies, serves as the department's emergency management coordinator, oversees the department's responsibilities for school construction, and provides leadership for educational policy initiatives.

    Deputy Superintendent: Kyle Guerrant
    Phone: 517-241-0062

  • Administrative Law

    The Office of Administrative Law is responsible for providing final decisions in administrative appeals to the agency. The primary responsibility of the Office of Administrative Law is to review the proposed decisions of administrative law judges of the Licensing and Regulatory Affair's Michigan Administrative Hearing System in cases involving the agency. These cases include appeals to the State Tenure Commission in teacher tenure matters; appeals to the Superintendent of Public Instruction in cases involving property transfers, educator credential revocations and denials, certification penalty appeals, and pupil membership audits; and other complaint and compliance matters. Failure to provide these services would result in the denial of statutory due process rights.

    Administrative Law Specialist: Robert Taylor
    Phone: 517-373-8369

  • Financial Management
    The Office of Financial Management facilitates the development of the annual agency budget and provides oversight of Department budgets.  The office is responsible for all accounting and purchasing activities for the Department.   This includes disbursing, recording and reporting grants; collecting revenue; developing and securing federally approved indirect cost rates; and procuring supplies and equipment.
    Director: Ann Dennis
    Phone: 517-373-1967
  • Health & Nutrition Services

    The mission of the Office of Field Services is to accelerate student achievement by providing state and federal grant support based on the unique improvement plans developed by schools and districts. The primary focus of the ESSA and State grants is to serve the needs of students who are most at risk. The office provides training and technical assistance in grants management, continuous improvement, program evaluation, networking on promising practices, and implementation fidelity. Our work is carefully aligned with the Top 10 in Ten state plan and coordinated with other MDE offices.

    Director: Diane Golzynski
    Phone: 517-373-3383

  • Library of Michigan

    The Michigan Legislature created The Library of Michigan to guarantee the people of this State and their government one perpetual institution to collect and preserve Michigan publications, conduct reference and research and support libraries statewide.

    Since 1828, during Michigan's territorial days, the Library of Michigan has served state government and the people of Michigan much as the Library of Congress works at the federal level. The Library's early task was to collect, compile and store Michigan territorial laws and other important documents that formed the basis for Michigan government today. The library's responsibility has expanded to include a fine collection of Michigan state government publications as well as important journals, books and other materials.

    Director: Randy Riley
    Phone: 517-373-5511


P20 System and Student Transitions

  • P-20 System & Student Transitions Division

    The Office of Great Start, created by Executive Order No. 2011-8, consolidates early childhood programs and resources under a single agency in an effort to maximize child outcomes, reduce duplication and administrative overhead, and reinvests resources into quality improvement and service delivery. The new office will refocus the state's early childhood investment, policy and administrative structures by adopting a single set of early childhood outcomes.

    The initial programs/services that have been brought together in the Office of Great Start are the: Office of Early Childhood Education and Family Services, Head Start State Collaboration Office, and the Office of Child Development and Care. Both the Office of Child Development and Care and the Head Start State Collaboration Office were previously housed in the Department of Human Services.

    Interim Deputy Superintendent: Shulawn Doxie

  • Career & Technical Education

    The Office of Career and Technical Education oversees high school instructional programs that teach students skills in a specific career cluster.  The mission of the office is to prepare students so they have the necessary academic, technical, and work behavior skills to enter, compete, and advance in education and their careers.  Most secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offer early college credit opportunities to provide students with a seamless transition to postsecondary education.  Students in CTE programs also have the following educational experiences: instruction on career and employability skills; participation in work-based learning, and; leadership opportunities through participation in student organizations associated with their career of interest.  To keep current, CTE administrators and teachers must maintain close relationships with local business and industry representatives.  Staff within the Office of Career and Technical Education also coordinate the Department’s Early/Middle Colleges which are five year high schools where students earn a high school diploma and substantial college credit upon graduation.

    Director: Brian Pyles
    Phone: 517-335-5224

  • Child Development & Care

    The Office of Child Development and Care supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high quality early care and afterschool programs. To achieve this end, the office supports numerous efforts designed to assess and improve the level of quality across the spectrum of Michigan's early learning and care settings.

    This office administers Michigan's federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) dollars and through these funds support:

    • The Child Development and Care (CDC) Program, the state's child care subsidy program.
    • Quality improvement initiatives for early learning and development programs and unlicensed subsidized providers coordinated through the Early Childhood Investment Program.
    • Licensure and monitoring of licensed and registered early learning and development programs.
    • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarships to individuals working in the early childhood field


    Director: Lisa Brewer-Walraven
    Phone: 517-241-0432

  • Early Childhood Development & Family Education

    Early Childhood Development and Family Education (ECDFE) provides information, consultation, and resources to families, educators, and communities concerned with the progress and development of our youngest citizens and their families. ECDFE manages federal and state grant programs and consults with parenting support programs, family literacy programs, infant/toddler services, early intervention and system-focused development. Major programs managed by ECDFE include Part C of I.D.E.A. (aka Early On®, the 32p Block Grant and Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge.)

    Director: Renee DeMars-Johnson
    Phone: 517-241-3592 

  • Head Start State Collaboration

    The Head Start-State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) is charged with facilitating and enhancing coordination and collaboration between Head Start agencies and other state and local entities that provide comprehensive services designed to benefit all low-income children from birth to age five and their families, as well as pregnant women. HSSCO is responsible for assisting in the building of early childhood systems including access to comprehensive services, encourage widespread collaboration with appropriate programs and services, and facilitate the involvement of Head Start in policy and planning efforts that affect the Head Start target population and other low-income families.

    Director: Kaitlin Ferrick
    Phone: 517-241-3592

  • Preschool & Out-of-School Time Learning

    The Office of Preschool and Out-of-School Time Learning (P&OSTL) provides information, consultation, and resources to families, educators, and communities concerned with the progress and development of children, youth and their families so that they will be prepared to succeed in school and in life. P&OSTL manages federal and state grant programs and consults with preschool/prekindergarten programs, preschool special education programs and services, transition into K-3 primary grades, and out-of-school time programs (i.e., before- and after-school, summers, vacations, and weekends) for K-12 students. Major programs include: Great Start Readiness Program, Early Childhood Special Education (IDEA, Part B, Section 619), and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

    Director: Richard Lower
    Phone: 517-241-4290 

  • Special Education

    The function of the Office of Special Education (OSE) is the general supervision, administration, and funding of special education programs and services for children and youth with disabilities ages 3-21. A free appropriate public education (FAPE) is provided to eligible children according to federal statute and regulations, state statute, administrative rules, and department procedures.

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) established two separate age segments for students with special needs. Part B refers to special education services for students ages 3 through 21. Part C refers to early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities from birth to age 3.

    Michigan special education services extend from birth through 25 (beyond the federal requirement of 21). Therefore, Michigan's special education services and programs serve eligible students ages birth through 25.

    The OSE is tasked with implementing and monitoring Part B improvement plans. The Office of Great Start (OGS), in conjunction with the OSE, manages Part C services through its Early On® program. Some infants and toddlers may be eligible for special education services.

    The OSE is made up of four units, administration, program finance, program accounting, and performance reporting, and is also responsible for the Low Incidence Outreach program as well as the Michigan School for the Deaf.

    Director: Teri Chapman
    Phone: 517-373-9433