More Florida Department of Education leadership departures planned

The next commissioner will get to fill some key posts.
Florida deputy education  commissioner Linda Champion testifies during a 2016 hearing in the Citizens for Strong Schools case. [The Florida Channel]
Florida deputy education commissioner Linda Champion testifies during a 2016 hearing in the Citizens for Strong Schools case. [The Florida Channel]
Published December 14 2018

Florida's next education commissioner will get to shape a new leadership team at the Department of Education soon after his arrival on the scene.

Two other high-ranking officials in the agency plan to depart along with retiring commissioner Pam Stewart.

Both Linda Champion, the department's long-time deputy commissioner of finance, and Hershel Lyons, the K-12 chancellor, have announced they, too, will retire in the coming weeks.

Champion has been a department fixture since 1993. Lyons became chancellor in 2015 after a long career in Alachua County schools.

Florida College System chancellor Madeline Pumariega, who also joined the department in 2015, recently left that post, as well.

Talk already is swirling around Tallahassee about who will join Richard Corcoran, the presumed next commissioner, in running the 2,500-person department.

Without naming names, observers have indicated they're hearing about former lawmakers and possibly even school board members who share the passion for the choice and accountability philosophy.

Expect the picture to come into clearer focus in the days after the State Board considers Corcoran's appointment Monday.

Advertisement