For immediate release
Sept. 15, 2010
DeBacker named Kansas Commissioner of Education
Appointment effective immediately; search to begin for new Deputy Commissioner
TOPEKA – The Kansas State Board of Education voted today to appoint Dr. Diane M. DeBacker to the position of Kansas Commissioner of Education. The appointment is effective immediately.
DeBacker has been serving as the Interim Commissioner of Education since October 2009 when then Commissioner of Education Dr. Alexa Posny stepped down to accept a position as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in Washington, D.C. During the time since her appointment as Interim Commissioner DeBacker has also continued to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Learning Services for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). A search will now begin to fill the Deputy Commissioner position.
“The State Board has every confidence in Dr. DeBacker’s ability to serve the students and educators of Kansas and to assist our state in navigating the changes in education and education policy it will face in the years ahead,” said State Board Chair Janet Waugh. “As a Board we are pleased to have a full-time Commissioner in place so we can continue our efforts to address the pressing and challenging issues in education today.”
DeBacker said she was grateful for her time as Interim Commissioner and looked forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the state of Kansas.
“I believe what happens in education in the next year will set our direction for the next decade, and I’m anxious to continue moving us forward as a state,” DeBacker said. “I appreciate the support of the State Board and I look forward to serving Board members, as well as the educators and students of Kansas.”
Prior to being named Deputy Commissioner in 2008, DeBacker served as Director of School Improvement and Accreditation for KSDE from 2003 - 2006. In 2006, she joined Shawnee Heights USD 450 as Associate Superintendent. DeBacker was principal of Washburn Rural Alternative High School in the Auburn-Washburn USD 437 school district. She has also served as a high school assistant principal, district curriculum facilitator, director of a statewide curriculum center, and a classroom teacher. DeBacker served on the Kaw Valley USD 321 school board from 1999-2003, including the offices of president and vice president. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Emporia State University, a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Washburn University, and a doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership from Kansas State University.