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Dr. Mary Ellis is 2011 NCASCD Distinguished Educator of the Year

Union County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis is pictured with UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis after being named the 2011 North Carolina Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (NCASCD) Distinguished Educator of the Year.

Dr. Mary Ellis, Deputy Superintendent for Instructional Programs, was named the 2011 North Carolina Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (NCASCD) Distinguished Educator of the Year Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011.

"This award is such a humbling experience for me," Ellis said, following the recognition. "I have been blessed throughout my career always thinking that I worked with the best folks in the best places. This is a testament to all of the wonderful educators in Union County who work daily making things better for children."

The award was made during the annual North Carolina Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development winter conference held this year at Pinehurst. UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis said Ellis is an outstanding educational leader and a valuable asset to the leadership team in UCPS.

"Her leadership, creativity, and passion for doing what is right for our students have been instrumental in improving the quality of instruction in our schools at all levels," he said. "UCPS is indeed fortunate to have an educator and person of her caliber in such an important role."

Ellis is unique in this honor because it is usually awarded to the superintendent of a school system. She was nominated by Director of Testing and Student Services Carolyn White, Director of Exceptional Children Lori Cauthen, Director of Elementary Education Dr. Tom Bulla, Director of Middle School Education Dr. John Jones and Director of Secondary Education Dana Crosson.

"During her 31 years of service to Union County Public Schools as a classroom teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent for instruction, Dr. Mary Ellis has dedicated her career to making a difference for ALL students," the nomination letter stated.

Some of her accomplishments noted in the letter of nomination include creating a Career Academy for at-risk students and implementing the Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC) with the goal of continuous improvement of exceptional children’s services within the total school program; and with restructuring the traditional summer school program to on-going intervention and remediation offered throughout the school year.

Ellis is also credited with developing formative assessment models throughout grades K-12 geared to support students in ongoing academic achievement. Some of these initiatives include customized in-county benchmarks, computerized assessments, and on-line instructional programs.

She is also recognized for her part in incorporating the high school “ALTS” (Alternative to Long-Term Suspension) program and the middle school “Quarter Turn Program” for long-term suspended students, the school system’s first laptop 1:1 initiative, and developing innovative Occupational Course of Study (OCS) on-line courses that meet the HQ standards for instruction of English, Algebra, and Biology within the OCS classroom.

Ellis has served on various boards and agencies across the state. A former regional teacher of the year, she also has worked with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) throughout the state to provide teacher training and support pertaining to optimum teaching standards.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Feb 15, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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