Perpich News

Dr. Heather Mueller Joins Perpich Board of Directors

Dr. Heather Mueller

Dr. Heather Mueller

November 24, 2020

Perpich Center for Arts Education is pleased to welcome Dr. Heather Mueller as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Mueller is Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. “As someone who grew up dancing, singing in choir, and participating in school plays, promoting and celebrating the arts is very personal to me. As an educator, I saw over and over again how art can not only act as a gateway to help students discover and better understand themselves creatively, but how it also helps them connect with other academic content. In my social studies classroom, I would incorporate acting, creating lessons that offered historical simulations or encouraged students to embody historical figures. During this unusual school year where it is not always safe for students to gather in person and the world can feel isolating, it is just as important – if not more important – that we are find ways to incorporate art so we can continue to inspire and reach our students if they are physically in our classrooms or not,” said Mueller.

As Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, Dr. Heather Mueller oversees the Office of Teaching and Learning, the Office of Student Health and Well-being, and the Office of Finance, Human Relations and Policy.

She started her career at Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) in August 1997, teaching social studies. During her time at Mankato, she worked as a continuous improvement coach, professional development coordinator, and the director of teaching and learning. Previously at the Minnesota Department of Education, she served as Assistant Commissioner, leading the Office of Teaching and Learning, and overseeing the Divisions of Academic Standards and Instructional Effectiveness; Career and College Success; Early Learning Services; Equity and Opportunity; School Support; and Testing and Assessment. Dr. Mueller earned her doctor of education in leadership degree from St. Mary’s University. She earned her Specialist and K-12 administrative license, master’s degree in educational leadership, and a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Mueller’s role on the Perpich Board of Directors is as a designee of the Commissioner of Education. The addition was recommended by the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor and authorized by the 2017 Education Omnibus Bill. The Board of Directors for Perpich Center for Arts Education manages the Perpich Center agency. The Board consists of 16 members, including the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education or the Commissioner’s designee, and 15 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. At least one member must be appointed from each congressional district, and no member may serve for more than two consecutive terms.