Dr. Alexa Posny
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 education.
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.