Thursday, September 15, 2005


Kansas State Board to Interview Five for Education Commissioner

The Kansas State Board of Education has issued the following news release:

Five candidates for the position of Education Commissioner will be interviewed by the State Board of Education next week. The State Board has scheduled the interviews for the evening of Sunday, Sept. 18 and throughout the day on Monday, Sept. 19, at the Kansas State Department of Education, 120 SE 10th Ave. in Topeka.
The five candidates were chosen from a field of 20 applicants. Following the interviews next week, the State Board expects to reconvene to consider its next steps. Following are the five candidates for the position:

Bob L. Corkins, Executive Director of Kansas Legislative Education and Research Inc. (KLEAR) and Freestate Center for Liberty Studies
Mr. Corkins has been leading KLEAR and the Freestate Center for the past four years. KLEAR is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research firm that serves state legislators. As executive director, Mr. Corkins provides data and policy analysis as well as research, editorial writing and organization development. The Freestate Center is a nonprofit educational organization for which Mr. Corkins provides fundraising, marketing, volunteer management, media relations, data and policy analysis and other services.
Mr. Corkins has also served as executive director of the Kansas Public Policy Institute, a non profit, nonpartisan policy research firm; as director of taxation and small business development for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and as a law clerk and lobbying assistant for the Kansas Hospital Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree speech with a minor in journalism from the University of Northern Iowa and received a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. Mr. Corkins remains an active member of the Kansas Bar.

Dr. Milt Dougherty, Superintendent of Schools, USD 444 Little River
Dr. Dougherty has been in education for the past 18 years and for the past nine years has served as the superintendent for the Little River School District. Prior to that he was the principal at Minneapolis High School in USD 239 North Ottawa County and served as assistant principal at Marysville High School in USD 364 Marysville. Dr. Dougherty also served as an English teacher and coach at Pomona High School in USD 287 West Franklin. In addition to his position as superintendent, Dr. Dougherty serves as a leadership and learning services consultant to such clients as Sprint, Apple, Learning Station and Kan-Ed.
During his career, Dr. Dougherty has presented at numerous educational conferences, including the American Association of School Administrators National Conference and the World Future Society National Conference. Dr. Dougherty served as President of the ESSDACK Superintendent’s Council from 1998-1999 and was an ESSDACK Executive Council member from 1997-2000. He also served as President of the Heart of America League Superintendent’s Council from 1997-1998.
In 2004, Dr. Dougherty was named one of eSchoolNews’ Top 10 U.S. Tech Savvy Superintendents and also received the Center for Digital Education’s “In the Arena” award. He was a 2003 Apple Distinguished Educator and in 2000 was a nominee for the Rural and Small School Administrator of the Year award.
Dr. Dougherty earned his doctorate in education administration from Kansas State University and received a master’s degree in education administration from Fort Hays State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Fort Hays State University.

Dr. G. Daniel Harden, Professor of Education, Washburn University
Dr. Harden has been a professor at Washburn University in Topeka for 18 years, teaching graduate courses in educational leadership, school law, philosophy of education and the history and philosophy of schools and schooling. Dr. Harden has also served as a principal in Kansas and Minnesota public schools. His teaching experience includes serving as an English teacher for the Hanford, California, Public Schools and as a history, debate and speech teacher for the Houston, Texas, Public Schools.
Dr. Harden currently serves as vice president of the USD 340 Jefferson West Board of Education in Meriden and he was previously involved in policy and strategic planning for several private schools in the state. He has been published in The University Bookman, Modern Age, The Principal, The Bulletin of Secondary School Principals, Education Digest, and Social Studies.
In his capacity at Washburn University, Dr. Harden has organized for nine years a regional conference on foundational issues in education that is among the largest annual conferences in the region. He received a doctorate in educational administration from Kansas State University and received master’s degrees in educational administration and history at Winona State University in Minnesota. Dr. Harden also earned a master’s degree in history at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Alexa Posny, Deputy Commissioner of Education in the Learning Services Division, Kansas State Department of Education
Dr. Posny has been a member of the State Department of Education since 1999, first as
the Director of Student Support Services and for the past four years as the assistant commissioner. She was recently promoted to Deputy Commissioner. In that position, Dr. Posny oversees special education, Title I and other compensatory education programs, as well as school accreditation. She has taken the lead in developing and updating the state’s plan for compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind legislation and has been a part of nationwide compliance issues through her involvement on a number of federal committees. In addition, Dr. Posny played a major role in crafting the additional flexibility recently announced by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities in state assessment and accountability systems. The model now used by the U.S. Department of Education is based on Kansas’ modified assessment model, which was developed while Dr. Posny was overseeing the state’s efforts for special education students. Prior to joining the State Department of Education, Dr. Posny was the Director of Special Education for the Shawnee Mission School District and has also taught students with disabilities at the elementary school level and students with behavior disorders at both the middle school and high school levels. Dr. Posny has a doctorate in educational administration with a minor in special education, as well as a master’s degree in behavioral disabilities and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology.

Dr. Kurt A. Steinhaus, Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Education, Office of the Governor and Public Education Department, New Mexico
Dr. Steinhaus has served in his current position for two years. As Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Education, Dr. Steinhaus oversees 176 employees in the areas of assessment and accountability, teacher quality and licensure, learning services, adult and vocational education, Indian education, rural education and federal programs. He manages a $2.1 billion education budget.
Dr. Steinhaus has also served as Director of Student and Education Programs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and as Assistant Superintendent and Division Director for Accountability and Information Services at the New Mexico State Department of Education. In addition, Dr. Steinhaus worked for 12 years in the Alamogordo Public Schools in New Mexico as a teacher and department chair for grades six through 12.
In his current position, Dr. Steinhaus has assisted the New Mexico Secretary of Education in implementing changes at the reconstituted Public Education Department to address five years of significant budget cuts, high staff turnover and lagging confidence from school district superintendents. After two years of work, the agency has now developed a culture of continuous quality improvement and has become an effective support organization for school districts. Dr. Steinhaus has also been involved in directing a statewide effort to pass legislation and fund a pre-kindergarten program in New Mexico. Dr. Steinhaus coordinated the efforts of governmental and state agencies, as well as private child care providers and school districts to implement the program, which increases access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs in the state and expands early childhood community capacity.
Dr. Steinhaus earned his doctorate in education leadership and organizational learning from the University of New Mexico, as well as his Educational Administration Certification. He received a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in music from Eastern New Mexico University.


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