Release Date: April 16, 2019
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo will host a public presentation by New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia, who will discuss current education initiatives and future plans for the State Education Department.
When: 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 1. Elia’s presentation will start around 6 p.m., following a reception. There will be time for questions from the audience after her presentation.
For Media: All media and members of the public are invited to attend the program.
Where: Center for Tomorrow, UB North Campus.
What: Elia’s visit came about through efforts of UB’s Graduate School of Education and the school’s Alumni Association.
“We wanted to hear about current initiatives, programs and practices coming out of the State Education Department. We’re at a period of a lot of change in education,” says John E. McKenna, president of the Graduate School of Education’s Alumni Association and assistant superintendent in the Williamsville Central School District.
“There is no one better to hear from about changes in programs and policies than the commissioner of education,” said McKenna, who was instrumental in arranging Elia’s UB visit.
McKenna said the invitation made more sense because Elia is an alumna of the Graduate School of Education, earning an EdM degree in social studies education from in 1974.
“She’s one of our alumna,” he said. “So we thought as the alumni association, we can invite her back and honor her and give her recognition from the alumni association.”
McKenna says GSE will also present Elia with an honorary award for distinguished service and outstanding contributions to the education profession.
Who: Along with her role as New York State Commissioner of Education, Elia is president of the University of the State of New York. She oversees the work of more than 700 school districts and 3.2 million students, as well as 7,000 libraries, 900 museums and 52 professions encompassing more than 850,000 licensees.
Elia was born, raised and attended school in Western New York. After graduating high school in Lewiston, she earned her bachelor of arts degree in history from Daemen College, a master’s of education from UB and a master’s of professional studies from SUNY Buffalo State. In 1970, she began her career in education as a social studies teacher in the Sweet Home Central School District and taught for 19 years before moving on to administrative positions.