Nicole Y. Ey
Ellenville Elementary School
Ellenville Central School District
Ellenville, New York
When Nicole Y. Ey became principal of Ellenville Elementary in 2018, the school was struggling after years of administrative inconsistency that had broken trust between faculty and leadership. Poor academic performance was compounded by the economic stress and emotional trauma many students were facing, and students were persistently performing below grade level. Committed to shifting this dynamic, Ey has sought to reframe the role of the principal for students and families by making relationship-building a top priority for her tenure, while empowering teachers to make change by balancing classroom autonomy with targeted coaching and support. Guided by her deep trust in the collective wisdom of her staff, Ey rallied stakeholders to chart a multi-year path for school improvement with social-emotional learning at the center. This approach, combined with a commitment to meeting students’ fundamental needs, has contributed to positive cultural and behavioral shifts in spite of the challenges caused by the pandemic. Ey has seized the opportunities posed by the pandemic to reshape the school’s approach to teaching and learning, facilitating a comprehensive review of reading and math curricula and providing teachers with the tools and skills to address achievement gaps through differentiated instruction. Ey holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Oswego State University, a Master of Science in Education from Mount Saint Mary College, and a Certificate of Advanced Study from Long Island University, Post.