State senator from Miami-Dade to become Florida’s 1st Hispanic education commissioner

Florida’s State Board of Education followed Gov. Ron DeSantis’s recommendation. The board members voted unanimously Friday to appoint State Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. as Commissioner of Education.

Diaz, of Hialeah Gardens, is the first Hispanic to be appointed to the position in Florida’s history. Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced his resignation on March 10.

In a statement, Diaz said he was grateful for the opportunity to build upon Corcoran’s “amazing work” and he was “extremely humbled and appreciative” of the appointment.

Diaz is a former school administrator, assistant principal, teacher, and coach. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Thomas University and Nova Southeastern University.

In statements released by the Florida Department of Education, Corcoran described Diaz as “an absolute warrior for students, parents, and educators” and Tom Grady, the State Board of Education chair, said Diaz “has fought to put students and families first.”

Diaz’s appointment is effective on June 1. Corcoran’s last day is May 1. Jacob Oliva, the senior chancellor will serve as interim from May 2-31.

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