New Commissioner of State Education Department

  • MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of the State Education Department

    Western New York Native with 45 Years of Experience as an Educator is
    First Woman to Hold the Permanent Post

    Ms. Elia served as superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida since 2005, where she is credited with successfully raising standards, partnering with teachers to develop a comprehensive evaluation system, and raising student achievement.  Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, is the nation’s eighth largest school district with 206,000 students, 30,000 employees, and a $2.9 billion budget.  A native New Yorker, Ms. 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.  Ms. Elia replaces former Commissioner John King, who left the Department at the end of 2014.