Photo: Paul Buckowski, Albany Times Union
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ALBANY — The state Board of Regents on Tuesday appointed Shannon Tahoe as acting commissioner of education, and announced several more top leadership changes within the agency.
Tahoe, whose appointment is effective Nov. 16, has served in various legal and administrative capacities in the State Education Department since 2006.
"Shannon brings vast expertise in education matters and experience in leadership that will serve the board and department well in her new role as acting commissioner while the board identifies an interim candidate to lead the Department,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in a statement.
Tahoe takes the helm in a period of upheaval for the agency. New York's current interim education commissioner, Beth Berlin, announced last month that she would leave her role next week for a new opportunity.
Berlin had stepped into the position a month earlier following the resignation of former Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.
The Board of Regents is also mourning the unexpected death of one of its members, Judith Johnson, who represented a district spanning the lower Hudson Valley region. The board is also in the process of overhauling the state's graduation standards and considering the elimination of the Regents exam.
Other appointments announced Tuesday include John D’Agati as senior deputy commissioner for education policy; Elisa Alvarez as the associate commissioner for the Office of Bilingual Education and World Language; Jason Harmon as assistant commissioner for the Office of Accountability; and Lesli Myers-Small as assistant commissioner for the Office of Innovation and School Reform.
“The State Education Department is in a time of transition and with transition comes opportunity,” Rosa said. “We have taken this opportunity to find the best and brightest to continue our goal of providing equity and a high-quality education for all students."