Last week, the New York State Board of Regents announced that it has appointed MaryEllen Elia as the next Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York.

A native of Upstate, 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. Most recently, she served as superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida, the nation’s eighth largest school district. In that position, she is credited with successfully raising standards, partnering with teachers to develop a comprehensive evaluation system, and raising student achievement.

Ms. Elia assumes the position, which pays $250,000 per year, on July 6. She replaces John King, who left to take a job in the Obama administration.