Gov. Dave Heineman has appointed John Bernthal, a retired professor and department chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to fill the 1st District vacancy for the Coordinating Commission.
Before retiring in 2011, Bernthal was a professor and served as chair of the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also has served in leadership positions in professional associations and is the past president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Bernthal earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wayne State College, his Master of Arts from Kansas University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
The commission is governed by an 11-member board of commissioners, who serve staggered six-year terms. Six commissioners represent each of the state's supreme court districts and five serve as at-large members. The 1st District covers Lancaster and Seward Counties.
The Legislature is still required to approve the governor's appointment of Bernthal. Because the Legislature is not in session, however, Bernthal can serve as a voting member of the commission until he is confirmed.