The Board of Regents on Tuesday unanimously elected a former Florida schools superintendent the new commissioner for the state Department of Education.

MaryEllen Elia will take office as the next commissioner of education starting July 6. She will be paid $250,000.

Elia’s selection comes at a crucial time for education policy in New York: State lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a new teacher evaluation measure in the 2015-16 state budget last month, a move that was deeply opposed by the state’s teachers unions for its weakening of tenure.

Though she spent 10 years at the Hillsborough School District in Florida as superintendent, Elia is a native western New Yorker.

She is supportive of the Common Core education standards, but at a news conference following her election as commissioner, Elia spoke in conciliatory terms when discussing teachers, whose statewide umbrella union has been especially restive over the changes.

“I’m very supportive of raising standards for students,” she said, adding, “I think it’s important for us to move forward in this nation, particularly in New York, on implementation. I think there needs to be feedback that we receive from people on the ground implementing the changes and we need to provide a lot of support for our teachers and our students.”

A former social studies teacher who taught in Amherst, Erie County, Elia said she is a former member of the teachers union in both New York and in Florida. Elia said she still considers herself a teacher.

New York education officials also continue to grapple with efforts to have students opt out of Common Core-based examinations, with districts recording high numbers during the April round of testing.

Elia said Hillsborough was a different case when it came to students opting out of the tests.

“We had very, very few opt outs, if any, in our district,” she said. “I think communication continues to be key why we have standards.”

Nevertheless, the teachers unions are far more powerful in New York than they are in Florida. Labor groups are pushing state lawmakers to adopt changes to the state’s teacher evaluation law that include slowing the implementation of the criteria.

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said at today’s news conference she expects to meet the June 30 deadline for developing new regulations for the evaluations.

“If I were a betting person, I would bet that part of the regulatory language that we will put forward by June 30 will include a process by which we will have an ongoing conversation across this state about how to improve evaluation,” Tisch said. “We have always said public policy is not a static process.”

More challenging still, Elia faces a governor in Cuomo who has sought broader control over the state’s education policy. A proponent of charter schools, Cuomo is in a protracted battle with teachers unions over the direction of public education — as well as spending — in the state.

At the moment, the New York State United Teachers Union and other top officials in teacher labor groups spoke highly of Elia.

“As everyone knows, our union is opposed to high-stakes testing and value-added model, but even when MaryEllen applied it as required under Florida law, she made collaboration her mantra,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “And as a result, even when the going got tough in Florida, she was able to work with multiple stakeholders to do what was best for Hillsborough students.”

The education reform group StudentsFirstNY offered similar praise for Elia, calling her a “strong choice.”

“She is a nationally recognized leader in education, who has a record of accomplishment in helping boost the achievement for low-income children. As a former educator herself, she knows firsthand what it takes for schools to succeed. We believe MaryEllen Elia will lead the way to give all of New York’s students the schools they deserve,” said the group’s executive director Jenny Sedlis.

Elia left her superintendent post in January after she was fired by the district’s school board in a close vote, which ultimately proved to be a controversial decision. Her contract cancellation cost the district $1.1 million.

Elia blamed the episode in part on the changing school board in Hillsborough County.

“I’m moving forward now and I’m not really concentrating on the past,” she said. “I’m excited to be in New York. I’m coming home.”