Advisory Board Member
Dr. Posny has almost four decades of experience in education spanning from classroom teacher to Chief State School Officer to Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. She was most recently Senior Vice President of State and Federal Programs for Renaissance Learning. Read more >>
Dr. Posny was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary, U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
Services (OSERS) on October 5, 2009. In this position, she played a pivotal
role in policy and management issues affecting special education and
rehabilitative services across the country. She helped ensure equal access
to education and employment services leading to improvement for all infants,
toddlers, children, youth and adults, particularly individuals with disabilities.
She also served as the principal adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Education on
all matters related to special education.
Prior to arriving at the Department, Dr. Posny served as the Commissioner of
Education for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) since June
2007. As Commissioner, Dr. Posny was responsible for helping over 450,000
students meet or exceed high academic standards, licensing over 45,000
teachers, and overseeing a state budget of over $4.5 billion. She worked with
the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) and the KSDE in carrying out the
policies and programs proscribed by state law and implemented the state’s
standards and assessments to help prepare all students for their next steps
after high school.
From 2006 to 2007, she was appointed as the Director of the Office of
Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the U.S. Department of Education. In
this position, she assisted state and local efforts to effectively educate all
children and youth with disabilities, served as the primary communication link
between OSEP and constituencies regarding the Administration’s priorities and
initiatives, responded to constituency concerns and needs, and provided
leadership for development of national consensus on the issues facing special
Dr. Posny served as deputy commissioner of education at the Kansas State
Department of Education, from 2001 to 2006, where she was responsible for the
overall operation of the Division of Learning Services. In this position she
provided leadership and supervision in the
delivery of services for school
districts, other local education agencies and teacher preparation institutions
regarding school improvement and accreditation, state assessments and
accountability, licensure and teacher education, state and federal education
programs, special education and technical education, and planning and research.
From 1999 to 2001, she served as the state director of special education at the
KSDE. And from 1997 to 1999, she served as the director of special education for
the Shawnee Mission School District in Overland Park, KS. Prior to that, she was
the Director of the Curriculum and Instruction Specialty Option as part of the
Title 1 Technical Assistance Center (TAC) network of TACs across the United
States, and a Senior Research Associate at Research and Training Associates in
Overland Park, KS.
In years prior she served on the board of directors for the Chief State School
Officers and the National Council for Learning Disabilities, and chaired the National
Assessment Governing Board's Special Education Task Force. Dr. Posny has been
recognized frequently for her educational leadership. In 2005, she received the
Kansas High School Activities Association Governor's Award, an honor accorded
to one individual in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of
secondary education in the state of Kansas. In 2004, she was named Administrator
of the Year by the Kansas Association of Educational Office Professionals and in
2001 she received the Outstanding Contributor Award for the state of Kansas
from the Council for Exceptional Children.
Dr. Posny earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of
Wisconsin at Madison, where she also minored in special education. She earned a
master's degree in behavioral disabilities from the University of Wisconsin at
Madison and a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from the University
of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. She has one son, Alek, who is currently employed
as a transportation engineer and planner at Kittelson & Associates in the
Washington DC area. He is a registered professional engineer and certified planner
with a civil engineering degree from Iowa State University, and Masters' degrees in
civil engineering and city and regional planning from Georgia Tech. Alek has
worked on pedestrian and bicycle plans, roadway safety initiatives, corridor studies,
and for those of you who like them, he designs roundabout projects in locations
throughout the country.
Throughout her career, Dr. Posny has been heavily involved in program, policy and
compliance issues at the district, state and federal levels. Most importantly, she has
been a teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels and remained a
teacher until 2010, serving as adjunct faculty with the University of Kansas.