Published: Aug 08, 2011 7:56 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla - Florida has a new Education Commissioner.  Gerard Robinson most recently served as the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, but Monday began his career as the leader of Florida's Public School systems.

Mr. Robinson beat out a pool of 26 other candidates vying for the Sunshine State's top education position.

Gerard Robinson is the former President of the Black Alliance for Education Options and has also served as the Program Director and Principal Investigator. He taught fifth grade in Los Angeles, California, and was a graduate Instructor at the University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College. He is a graduate of Howard University and earned his Master's degree from Harvard University.

The Commissioner of Education serves as Florida's chief educational officer and is responsible for providing full assistance to the State Board of Education and developing actions and policies that champion the mission and goals of Florida's seamless preK-20 education system. To learn more about the State Board of Education, visit