Board of Governors
President of Success For Students, Inc. and Former New York State Commissioner of Education
MaryEllen Elia is the former New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY). In this role, she oversaw the work of more than 700 school districts with 3.2 million students; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; and more than 50 professions encompassing nearly 900,000 licensees. A native New Yorker, Ms. Elia has over 50 years of experience as an educator and was New York’s first female Education Commissioner.
Prior to her appointment in New York, Ms. Elia served for ten years as superintendent of schools in Hillsborough County, Florida. In Hillsborough, which includes Tampa and is the nation’s eighth largest school district. Hillsborough has over 200,000 students and an annual budget of $3 Billion. She successfully implemented higher learning standards, partnered with teachers to develop a comprehensive evaluation system and earned national recognition for gains in student achievement. Ms. Elia has been honored for her work, both in Florida and on a national stage. In 2015, she was named Florida’s Superintendent of the Year, received the AASA Women in School Leadership Award from the School Superintendents Association, and was one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year award.
Ms. Elia is currently President of Success For Students, Inc., a consulting firm which supports students, educators and educational leaders across the country by providing advice, mentorship and leadership services to individual school districts as well as State Departments of Education.