Fired Hillsborough schools superintendent named New York education commissioner

THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Former Hillsborough County schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia was named New York’s next education commissioner on Tuesday.

150529_florida02The New York State Board of Regents voted to appoint Elia, ending a five-month search to replace John King, who took a job with the U.S. Department of Education, the state board announced. The position pays $250,000 a year.

“During her time in Hillsborough, she led a successful introduction of the Common Core standards, increased graduation options for students who had fallen behind, and helped to develop one of the country’s most innovative teacher evaluation systems,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said in a prepared statement.

Elia’s first day will be July 6.

State’s top superintendent
Her dismissal from the Hillsborough County job without cause in January, after a decade running the nation’s eighth largest school district, drew national attention.

A month earlier, Elia had been named Florida’s Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, and she was one of four finalists for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year award.

Elia, 66, is a Buffalo, N.Y., native who attended Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y., the University at Buffalo and the State University of New York, known as SUNY.

She began her education career in Buffalo as a social-studies teacher in 1970. She came to Hillsborough County in 1986 as a high school reading-resource teacher. She will be the first woman to serve as New York’s education commissioner.

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