Talking with Superintendent MaryEllen Elia

Recently I spent a delightful afternoon with MaryEllen Elia, superintendent of Florida’s Hillsborough County Public Schools, discussing her partnership with the district’s sevenmember board of education.

Hillsborough County is one of the 10 largest school districts in the United States, with more than 191,000 students and almost 26,000 full-time, permanent employees. MaryEllen, who has been superintendent since July 2005, draws on a deep reservoir of educational experience in carrying out her CEO responsibilities.

Over the course of her career, MaryEllen has spent 17 years as a social studies teacher and served as a high school reading resource specialist. She also has been a magnet school supervisor, director of nontraditional programs, general director of secondary education, and chief facilities officer.

In this and my next column, I will share highlights of our discussion.

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