Tampa, Florida -- Back in January, 4 of 7 Hillsborough County school board members voted to terminate Superintendent MaryEllen Elia's contract, and now it looks like she will be working for the State of New York.
On Tuesday, the New York State Board of Regents voted to appoint Elia as the next Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY).
A native New Yorker, Elia began her career in education in 1970 as a social studies teacher in Buffalo's Sweet Home Central School District and taught for 19 years before moving on to administrative positions.
Elia's appointment comes after a nearly five-month search by the Board of Regents to replace former Commissioner John King, who left the Department at the end of 2014 to take a job with the U.S. Department of Education.
"MaryEllen Elia has a remarkable record of working collaboratively with teachers, parents, and school leaders to get things done," said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch. "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. And all of this was accomplished with school leaders and teachers as partners. Hillsborough County Public Schools is an example of how all sides can find common ground and together can achieve real reform."
Elia will start her new position on July 6 and will earn $250,000 a year.
In Florida, the board members who pushed for her termination complained about her management style which they said is one of intimidation, the impression that she doesn't feel as if she work for or has to listen to the Board, and her handling of transportation issues that led to the death of student.
However, Elia was named the 2015 Florida Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year award.
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