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Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. Unanimously Appointed as Florida’s Commissioner of Education by State Board of Education


April 29, 2022

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Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. Unanimously Appointed as Florida’s Commissioner of Education by State Board of Education

Tallahassee, Fla., April 29, 2022 – Today, the State Board of Education (SBOE) voted unanimously to appoint Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. to serve as Florida’s next Commissioner of Education – making him the first Hispanic Commissioner of Education in Florida’s history. The vote follows Governor DeSantis’ recommendation to the SBOE to appoint Senator Diaz as Education Commissioner last week.

The SBOE announced his appointment is effective June 1, 2022. Commissioner Corcoran formally leaves the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) on May 1, 2022. The SBOE named Senior Chancellor Jacob Oliva to act as interim Commissioner from May 2, 2022, to May 31, 2022. The Florida Constitution charges the State Board of Education with the “supervision of the system of free public education,” including the appointment of the Commissioner of Education.

“I am incredibly thankful for Governor DeSantis’ commitment to improve the quality of education we provide to our students, and for the opportunity to build upon the amazing work that Commissioner Corcoran and the Florida Department of Education have accomplished,” said Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. “I am extremely humbled and appreciative of the faith and trust that the State Board of Education has placed in me. Rest assured, Florida will continue to serve students, parents, and educators in our quest to provide students with a world-class education that meets the unique and individual needs of all students.”

Senator Diaz has served in the Florida Legislature since 2012. Having served as a public-school teacher, coach, assistant principal, and school administrator, he possesses a great deal of classroom experience to help prepare him to serve as Commissioner of Education. Diaz received his bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University, a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern, and completed a Harvard Graduate School of Education program for principals.

“From our time in the legislature until now, Senator Diaz has been an absolute warrior for students, parents and educators. His dedication to Florida families will endure as he steps into the role of Commissioner of Education,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished during my three years as Commissioner, I am grateful for the leadership of our Governor and the support of our State Board of Education and our Department’s staff and know Florida’s education system is in great hands with Manny Diaz.”

“Manny Diaz has fought to put students and families first during his tenure in the Florida Legislature, and we are excited to support the Governor’s recommendation to have him stepping into the role of Commissioner of Education,” said State Board of Education Chair Tom Grady. “I am looking forward to working together to continue on the path of providing the best educational opportunities to all students in Florida.”

“As a father, I take seriously our responsibility to appoint a commissioner who will guarantee our students receive the very best education,” said State Board of Education Vice Chair Ben Gibson. “It is evident Manny Diaz will be a leader whose decisions are made in the best interest of today’s students and future generations.”

“Manny Diaz has dedicated his career to making a difference in the lives of students through education,” said State Board of Education Member Monesia Brown. “His career experiences and commitment to our children will be critical to ensuring Florida continues to provide access to world-class education.”

“It is important the state’s education leader prioritizes academic success for students and upholds parents’ rights,” said State Board of Education Member Esther Byrd. “Manny Diaz has shown he is committed to creating opportunities for Florida families – that’s why I support the Board’s decision to appoint him to the role of Commissioner of Education.”

“Manny Diaz has an unwavering dedication to furthering the education system in Florida and has the ability to identify opportunities to accelerate progress,” said State Board of Education Member Grazie P. Christie. “His commitment to parents making decisions for their own children will be beneficial as our Commissioner.”

“It is vital that Florida remains focused on providing high-quality education options that meet the needs of Florida’s families,” said State Board of Education Member Ryan Petty. “Manny Diaz is an excellent appointment as Commissioner of Education to continue Florida’s leadership in education.”

“Manny Diaz has a proven record from the classroom to the Legislature of leading education and Florida in the right direction,” said State Board of Education Member Joe York. “I believe his insight and expertise is what Florida needs to continue improving our state’s educational system.” 

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