Katie Bieber was named Communications Director for the Nebraska Statewide Workforce & Educational Reporting System (NSWERS) in September 2021.
Bieber’s work experience includes over 18 years in communication, marketing, and graphic design. Prior to NSWERS, she held leadership positions in advertising, statewide K-12 education, and scholarly book publishing.
As the Communications Manager, Bieber develops and implements a comprehensive, creative, and strategic communications plan, aligned with the NSWERS strategic direction. She works to create and strengthen brand awareness, oversees the design and production of marketing materials and messaging, and helps inform Nebraska education and workforce decision making. She supports the Executive Director, the NSWERS consortium, and its member organizations in achieving their goals.
She is passionate about public education and is involved in both national and state organizations. On the national level, Bieber has served on the National Assessment Governing Board’s NAEP Advisory Committee and the Council of Chief State School Officers Communications Directors Network. On the state level, she has served on the Nebraska Loves Public Schools Advisory Group and as a member of the Nebraska School Public Relations Association. She has worked with numerous career education organizations including SkillsUSA national, the Nebraska School Counseling Association, and education data organizations including EdReports, Student1, and Double Line Partners.
A native Nebraskan, Bieber holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a master’s degree in teaching, learning, and teacher education from the University of Nebraska. Bieber and her husband, Brett, have three children, Charlise, Indiana, and Brooks.
What author, researcher, or scientist is most influential to you in your work at NSWERS?
I would say the person most influential to my work at NSWERS is Edward Tufte, a statistician, information designer, and data visualization expert. He is a master of storytelling with data. Specifically, his work on basic structures of data stories (table, sentence, visual, text-table, and sparkline) help me design data sets to better tell education and workforce stories in Nebraska.
If I wasn’t in my field of work, I would probably be:
The owner of my own children’s bookstore. I love to read adult fiction. But I love books in general and collect Caldecott Medal winners, the prize for best American children’s picture book. Ever since I watched You’ve Got Mail, I’ve wanted to own my own children’s bookstore (like Meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly), specializing in Caldecott winners and nominees.
What hobby did you pick up or master during the pandemic?
Baking! I really got into baking and pastry making during the pandemic. I tried everything I could think of: cinnamon rolls, turnovers, crumble buns, cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, breads, and more. Now I need to pick up and master some post-pandemic workout strategies.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist. It pretty much came true, only my medium is digital versus paper and pen, as I thought it would be when I was younger.