MALDEN, Mass. — The Massachusetts board of education has recommended that Jeffrey Riley, the receiver for the Lawrence school district, become the next commissioner of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The board voted 8-3 on Monday in favor of Riley. He would succeed the late Mitchell Chester, who died of cancer in June.

The recommendation is expected to be formally approved by state Education Secretary James Peyser.

Riley was among three finalists for the post. The others were Angelica Infante-Green, a deputy education commissioner for New York state, and Penny Schwinn, Texas’ chief deputy commissioner for academics.

Riley was named in 2012 to oversee the Lawrence school system after it was designated as chronically underperforming.

He previously worked as a school administrator in Boston and as a teacher in Baltimore.

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