Mandy Ellis

Mandy E. Ellis

Dunlap Grade School
Dunlap School District
Dunlap, Illinois

Mandy Ellis has served Dunlap Grade School (DGS) as principal for eight years, building on eight years’ prior experience as a Special Education teacher. Ellis’ instructional leadership style is driven by her positive attitude, collaborative spirit, and strong appetite for lifelong learning, qualities which she models and scales through programming that engages staff, students, and family in the process of constant improvement. According to one DGS parent, Ellis is so skilled at connecting and communicating that “families who attend DGS regularly speak of it as a big family.” Passionate about literacy, Ellis is proud to have launched a district-wide One School, One Book project, leveraging local community partnerships to build a culture of reading that extends beyond the walls of the school. She has also successfully transformed the school’s approach to behavioral intervention, implementing supports that have helped build common language and shared expectations, decreasing disciplinary referrals and out-of-school suspensions and increasing the number of positive office referrals. Ellis is an effective team builder and has grown a dynamic instructional leadership team that includes support staff and parent representatives, using reflective coaching tools to identify actionable priorities for improving instruction, culture, and management. With a strong track record of both professional and community service, Ellis holds M.S. degrees in Curriculum and Administration and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bradley University.