McKenzie named to head Department of Education

Officials from the State Board of Education and Early Development have chosen Susan McKenzie to be the new commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED).

She begins her new post on April 1.

McKenzie had been serving as DEED’s director of innovation and education excellence. 

Heidi Teshner, who has served as acting commissioner of DEED since last July, will return to her previous role as deputy commissioner.

Before working for DEED, McKenzie was a superintendent for eight years in the Gaston School District in Oregon. Prior to this she served as a principal in the Copper River School District in Glennallen, Alaska. McKenzie began her career as a teacher and special education teacher in Oregon. 

McKenzie has a master’s degree in education from University of Alaska, Fairbanks in language and literacy with a reading endorsement. She received her bachelor of science degree in elementary education and added a special education endorsement later. Her administrator licensing was completed at Portland State University in 2009, and renewed in 2015 at Concordia University in Chicago.