DeBacker named Kansas Commissioner of Education

TOPEKA — Diane DeBacker, who has been serving as interim Kansas Commissioner of Education, was given the job on a full-time basis today.

The Kansas State Board of Education made the move today. The appointment is effective immediately.

DeBacker, 50, has served as interim commissioner since October 2009 when Alexa Posny stepped down to accept a position as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in Washington, D.C.

A search will now begin to fill the deputy commissioner position DeBacker once held.

"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," State Board Chair Janet Waugh said in a statement.

DeBacker has served as a high school principal, assistant principal, district curriculum facilitator, director of a statewide curriculum center and a classroom teacher. She served on the Kaw Valley USD 321 school board from 1999 to 2003.

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.