Ann Lebo named next director of the Iowa Department of Education

Lebo has overseen educator licensure in Iowa since 2016

DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday named Ann Lebo as director of the Iowa Department of Education.

Lebo — who since 2016 has led the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, which oversees educator licensure — will begin her new role Friday, according to a news release.

She will replace Ryan Wise, who left in December to become the dean of the School of Education at Drake University.

“Having served as an instructor, school administrator, Iowa Board of Educational Examiners executive director and on the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, among other roles, Dr. Ann Lebo has a broad depth of experience in Iowa’s education system,” Reynolds said in a news release. “Ann will be an important partner in preparing our students for the challenges of the 21st century.”

Lebo was a secondary school administrator in Grundy Center and taught English in secondary and postsecondary schools for 17 years.

“I am grateful to the governor for the opportunity to serve the state of Iowa and our greatest gift to the future, which is our schools,” Lebo said in the release. “I am excited about what lies ahead for education in Iowa.”

Lebo also served on the statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation Task Force in 2012 and was appointed to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council in 2017.


She has a doctorate and educational specialist degree in educational administration from the University of South Dakota, a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in English language and literature, a bachelor’s in English education from UNI and a bachelor’s in speech communication from Iowa State University.

Lebo’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

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