Topeka Kansas Education Commissioner Bob Corkins has hired a new communications director to replace David Awbrey, who resigned after six months on the job.
Cynthia Williams, a former business editor for the Wichita Eagle, will take over the $76,000 per year job at the end of the month.
"Given Ms. Williams experience in communicating with a variety of public and private organizations, I am confident that she will be an asset to the department," Corkins said.
Awbrey, a former newspaperman, left the Education Department in June to be with his family in Missouri. On the way out, he complained that the political climate in Kansas had become too contentious.
The State Board of Education has been wracked by controversy over evolution, sex education, board members' travel expenses and the hiring of Corkins.
Williams has more than 20 years journalism experience and has worked as an independent market research analyst.