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Manny Diaz is the next education commissioner of the state of Florida

Photo: Manny Diaz
Photo: Manny Diaz

The Florida Department of Education today confirmed outgoing Commissioner Ricard Corcoran’s replacement. 

Former Republican state senator Manny Diaz of Hialeah will lead the department starting at the end of this month.

At the department’s meeting, several members of the public along with current and former Florida legislators favorably commented on Diaz’s record as an advocate for kids and teachers. 

Chair Tom Grady, a fellow Republican, remarked on the lack of negative feedback they'd received on Diaz. 

“This worries me just a tiny bit. We had no opposition speakers today. And I had no opposition emails. And I think we have 22 million in the state of Florida at this point.”

Diaz, who was a coach, high school teacher, and assistant principal before he joined the Florida legislature, says his priorities for this new role are simple ones: support teachers throughout the state in doing their job well, using his personal experience. 

“I had the opportunity to actually teach government and economics and US history and to deal with honors and students who were in a dropout prevention program. But what drove me to teaching was the opportunity to change lives.”

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended Diaz for the position, as Corcoran steps down to spend more time with his wife Anne and their six children. 

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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