Maine State Board Member Elected as Secretary-Treasurer of National Board

Fern Desjardins

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has announced the election of Fern Desjardins, chair of the Maine State Board of Education, as secretary-treasurer for a two-year term on its board of directors.  Desjardins previously served a two-year term as new member representative on the NASBE and was also chair of NASBE’s Public Education Positions Committee.

Janet Cannon, a member of the Utah State Board of Education, became NASBE’s board chair at the close of the organization’s virtual Annual Conference and business meeting this year and Christine Benson, a member of the Illinois State Board of Education, was voted NASBE’s chair-elect also.

A former Superintendent of Schools in MSAD #33, Desjardins has spent a 43-year career in public education in Maine and has served on Maine’s State Board of Education since 2018. She has taught graduate level courses for UMaine as an adjunct faculty member in their outreach programs in Aroostook County for almost a decade.  She holds a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Language Arts from UMaine, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership from USM, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UMFK.

“NASBE’s board of directors plays an important role in helping the organization achieve its mission of developing, supporting, and empowering state boards to fully embrace their role as citizen leaders,” said NASBE President and CEO Robert Hull. “This board is primed to work closely with incoming President and CEO Paolo DeMaria to expand the robust work of developing state boards’ capacity to lead in these important times of high needs and unprecedented resources.”

NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances. Learn more at