Diane DeBacker

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Diane DeBacker
Diane DeBacker.jpg
Kansas Commissioner of Education
Former officeholder
In office
September 15, 2010 - April 2014
Base salary$170,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedSeptember 15, 2010
Appointed byKansas State Board of Education
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sEmporia State University (1982)
Master'sWashburn University of Topeka (1987)
Ph.D.Kansas State University (2002)
Office website
Diane DeBacker is the former Commissioner of Education in Kansas. She served in this position from her appointment in September 2010 until her resignation April 2014.[1] She stepped down to become an adviser to the director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates. Upon her departure, Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander took over the position in an interim capacity.[2][3]


DeBacker has had a long and varied career in education. Among her many positions she has served as Principal of Washburn Rural Alternative High School from 1998-2003, director of school improvement at accreditation at the state Department of Education from 2003-2006, been an instructor at Washburn University and Kansas State University from 2006-2008, Associate Superintendent of Shawnee Heights USD 450 from 2006–2008, and Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Learning and Innovative Services at the State Department of Education from 2008-2010.[4]


  • PhD, Educational Administration and Leadership, Kansas State University, 2002
  • MA, Curriculum and Instruction, Washburn University of Topeka, 1987
  • B.S., Business Education, Emporia State University, 1982

Political career

Kansas Commissioner of Education (2010-2014)

DeBacker was serving as interim Kansas Commissioner of Education for nearly a year when she was officially appointed as Commissioner in September 2010.[4] She resigned in 2014 to take a job as an education adviser in the United Arab Emirates.[2]



DeBacker was appointed Kansas Commissioner of Education by the Kansas State Board of Education on September 15, 2010. State Board Chair Janet Waugh said, “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.”[1]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Kansas Commissioner of Education
September 15, 2010 - April 2014
Succeeded by
Brad Neuenswander