Superintendent of Schools
Clarence G. Ellis, Ed. D. was appointed Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2021.
Recognized for being a visionary leader and strategic thinker with more than 37 years of public education experience, Dr. Ellis has demonstrated his ability to manage and advocate change processes in classroom settings, and is a highly motivated, results-oriented professional with an approachable style and a strong work ethic marked by dedication, initiative and integrity.
Dr. Ellis previously served the New York City Department of Education as Superintendent of Schools in District 17, located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He was responsible for the supervision and administration of 32 schools serving over 15,000 students from Pre-K through Grade 12, living in the multifaceted communities of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, East Flatbush and Lefferts Gardens.
Prior to his arrival in 2014, District 17 was averaging close to 2700 suspensions each year. By providing professional development linked to the root causes of disproportionality, as well as fostering awareness of implicit bias, and articulating and demonstrating how culturally responsive pedagogy can mitigate this challenge, suspensions in the district decreased by more than 60%.
At the same time, District 17 experienced gains of 23% in levels 3 and 4 in English Language Arts, from 19% to 42%; and 21% in levels 3 and 4 in Mathematics, from 17% to 38%. Not only did the suspended students improve academically, the data indicated that all of the students benefited from the strategies employed under the leadership of Dr. Ellis.
During his stabilizing tenure at District 17, Dr. Ellis expanded academic offerings, bolstered innovative programs focused on student success and re-imagined learning spaces and supports.
Dr. Ellis began his service within education in 1986 teaching sixth grade in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He also taught sixth grade in East New York, Brooklyn. After ten years as a classroom teacher, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Principal of Junior High School 263 in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Subsequently, as Principal of the same school (later named PS/IS 323K), Dr. Ellis spearheaded significant gains, not only in English Language Arts and Mathematics, but also in social and emotional support services leading to positive and collaborative working relationships which resulted in increased family and community engagement. As a result of his work as a principal, Dr. Ellis was appointed to the position of Local Instructional Superintendent in 2004.
Throughout his career, Dr. Ellis has demonstrated a passion for ensuring student development and success. He brings a high degree of accountability to ensure creative, stimulating and positive learning environments to his role in the East Ramapo Central School District. Dr. Ellis believes that “the rising tide lifts all boats. When you take care of your most needy students, the entire student population flourishes."