Denise Kahler, Director of Communications (785) 296-4876
April 9, 2014
For Immediate Release
Kansas Education Commissioner DeBacker Announces Resignation
TOPEKA – The Kansas State Board of Education today accepted the resignation of Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker. DeBacker, who has served as commissioner since 2010, is leaving KSDE to serve as Advisor to the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council and will be relocating to the United Arab Emirates. The KSBE selected Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander to serve as interim commissioner until Dr. DeBacker’s successor is selected.
Dr. DeBacker was selected from an international search to serve the Abu Dhabi Director General. In her new role, she will provide expert counsel to support the Abu Dhabi education system.
DeBacker has spent 32 years in education. Her varied experience includes classroom instruction at the high school and university levels and four years as a member of the local board of education. She has been an administrator at the building and district levels and has been with the Kansas State Department of Education a total of 11 years, serving as Director of School Improvement and Accreditation as well as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Learning and Innovative Services.
DeBacker served as Interim Commissioner for one year prior to being named Commissioner by the Kansas State Board of Education in September 2010. As the state’s chief education officer, she provides leadership to the Kansas State Department of Education in carrying out the policies and programs prescribed by the State Board of Education, to ensure the necessary oversight and support is provided to assist Kansas schools, educators and students in achieving their goals.
Throughout her career DeBacker has been sought out by schools, districts, education organizations and others for her educational insights as well as her clear thinking around the issues and challenges facing policy makers, educators and students.
DeBacker’s last day at KSDE is May 14, 2014.