New Kansas education commissioner meets with public

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Incoming Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson is beginning a 15-stop tour this week to meet with parents, lawmakers and others about what they want from the state's public schools.

The tour starts Thursday night at the Maner Conference Center in Topeka. Watson also will attend events in Arkansas City, Wichita, Salina, Hutchinson, Hays, Oakley, Garden Center, Sublette, Parsons, Girard, Emporia, Topeka, Olathe, Hiawatha and Kansas City.

Watson was selected for the commissioner job in November. He replaces Diane DeBacker, who left in May to become an adviser to the director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates.

Watson previously was superintendent of the 2,400-student McPherson school district. He also was chairman of the Kansas Coalition of Innovative School Districts.

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