Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Gradebook

Hillsborough’s ex-superintendent Elia lands consulting job

MaryEllen Elia, who led the Hillsborough district from 2005 to 2015, has been an educator since 1970.
Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia holds a back-to-school press conference at Rampello K-8 School, [TIMES files]
Published Sep. 18
Updated Sep. 18

TAMPA — This should quiet speculation that MaryEllen Elia will replace Jeff Eakins as Hillsborough County’s next schools superintendent: Elia has accepted a job at the International Center for Leadership in Education in New York.

ICLE, as the organization is called, is a a division of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt educational products company. Elia, who resigned recently as education commissioner for the state of New York, will work for ICLE as a senior fellow.

A news release described ICLE as a company that “researches and disseminates best practices for district-wide achievement and is known for its high-impact work around school transformation.” The release said that “Elia will serve as a vital thought leader for ICLE, contributing to the vision and content development within her specialized practice areas, which will include policy, community schools, teacher evaluation systems, standards, school choice and urban education.”

Fellows such Elia provide strategic guidance and also work directly with educators in the field.

The release included this statement from Elia: “As a former teacher, administrator, superintendent and commissioner, I have devoted my entire career to putting children on a path to success both in school and beyond. I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to join The International Center for Leadership in Education."

Originally from Buffalo, Elia joined the Hillsborough district as a reading specialist and worked her way up to the position of superintendent in 2005.

She was well known for being ahead of the curve in offering magnet schools as an instrument of voluntary desegregation. She also sought prestigious grant opportunities. One, a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ran up so many costs, at a time of disappointing state funding, that the district incurred losses of more than $200 million in its reserves, triggering a credit crisis that took years to resolve.

The School Board was not aware of the financial losses. But Elia fell out of favor with a majority on the board for other reasons. She was fired by a vote of 4 to 3 in 2015. Business leaders, education scholars and the mayor of Tampa criticized the firing, and Elia soon landed a job as the first female New York State Commissioner of Education and as President of the University of the State of New York. There, she oversaw the work of more than 700 school districts with 3.2 million students; 7,000 libraries; and 900 museums.

Elia was replaced in Hillsborough by one of her deputy superintendents, Jeff Eakins. He is retiring in June of 2020 and a search for his replacement is under way.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Chanell Newell, a reading teacher at Woodson K-8 School, is a finalist for Hillsborough Teacher of the Year. HCPS  |  HCPS
    The winners will be announced on Jan. 23.
  2. A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  4. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  5. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  6. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  9. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement