Former Florida district Superintendent named New York education commissioner

One state’s loss is another’s gain. Former Hillsborough County Florida Superintendent, MaryEllen Elia, has been named education commissioner for the state of New York.

Elia led Hillsborough County schools for 10 years but was ousted earlier this year.

Heading to New York, Elia will oversee a much smaller administration according to Hillsborough County Public Schools represent the ninth largest school district in the nation. But because she now controls the education policy for an entire state, her area of responsibility is obviously much larger.

She will serve as president of the University of the State of New York, not to be confused with New York University, and will oversee “700 school districts, public colleges, libraries, museums and broadcasting stations, and provides licenses for 52 professions.”

While New York is thrilled to have Elia, some in Hillsborough weren’t sad to see her go. By way of the Washington Post, Elia was accused of being too partisan at times and entered into a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation regarding teacher evaluation.

But even with the light jabs, Elia’s tenure went six years beyond the average time that most superintendents spendon the job. She was rewarded with salary increases and, again, remained on the job for 10 years until a new school board decided to vote her out.

Elia’s time in New York will likely be judged by how well she works with teachers’ unions and how she navigates an ever increasing anti-testing climate.

Her experience as an educator and as head of one of the nation’s largest school districts in the country will certainly come in handy when she takes her new post beginning July 6th.

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