Percy L. Ellis Jr., principal of Shaw Junior High School, announced last night that he will seek the Ward 5 seat on the D.C. Board of Education in this November's elections.
Speaking to supporters at Backus Junior High School, Ellis outlined a six-point platform, which he said would help to ensure that all District public school students would receive a "public education commensurate with their needs and abilities."
Noting that he has "served the students of the D.C. public schools for more than 30 years as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal," Ellis said that if he is elected he would stress administrative support for strong classroom leadership; discipline--which he called a "prerequisite for maximum learning;" increased community involvement; improved funding; an updated curriculum to reflect "employment requirements for technical, vocational and business skills" and a program of public tributes to recognize excellence in teaching.
Known as a strong disciplinarian, Ellis has been principal of Shaw Junior High since 1967 and presided over the construction of its $13 million building in 1977.
A native of Washington, Ellis attended Garnet-Patterson and Brown junior highs, Cardozo High School and Miner Teachers College, a forerunner of the University of the District of Columbia. He holds a master's degree from New York University and a doctorate from Nova University.
He is also a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the D.C. Council of School Officers and the National Education Association.
The only other announced candidate for the seat is Betty Benjamin, who has represented Ward 5 on the school board since 1974. School board elections are nonpartisan.