Ellen Garber Stokoe
Edward W. Morley Elementary School
West Hartford Public Schools
West Hartford, Connecticut

Ellen Stokoe counts the positive climate of Morley School highest among her accomplishments as a principal. “My style is to develop relationships and trust,” she says, through “consistent, honest communications.” In 1999 Stokoe began her tenure at the historic building that houses her suburban school, built in 1927. Over the decade since then, she has cultivated a school culture rooted in trust and collaboration among teachers, students, and parents in the school community. Together they have developed a shared vision for school improvement. They also have worked together to design new curricular activities and service projects. Stokoe is committed to providing school leadership opportunities for teachers. She also has helped establish professional learning communities among teachers in her school. The collaborative environment has served as a foundation for high student achievement. To help struggling learners make progress, every teacher must develop an improvement plan. Stokoe’s school serves 375 kindergarten through grade 5 students. During the past seven years, she has equipped more than 300 parents of her students with training in a discipline program that balances empathy and consequences for children’s behavior. Stokoe’s support for parents has promoted students’ character development. She’s also strengthened families’ engagement in the school. She earned a B.S. and an M.S. from Central Connecticut State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.