September 16, 2008

Ellis Gives Vecchiarella a Full Team

By Paul Westmoore

It took him almost two years, but North Tonawanda School Superintendent Vincent J. Vecchiarella finally has his administrative team in place.

The School Board earlier this month made that happen when it hired Kathleen M. Ellis, 40, as the district's director of curriculum and instruction at an annual salary of $75,000.

The board added the second-to-last piece of the administrative puzzle in January when it hired Gregory Witman as the director of athletics, physical education and program services at a $77,836 salary.

Ellis is a Niagara Falls native and resident who has been involved in education in the Twin Cities area for the past 13 years, mostly as a secondary English teacher. She also spent one year as an administrator.

Vecchiarella said he chose Ellis from among 40 applicants he spoke with over the past year.

She graduated from Niagara University with a bachelor's degree in secondary education and master's degrees in foundation of teaching and in educational leadership.

Ellis started her career as a substitute English teacher in the North Tonawanda School District, then spent 12 years with the City of Tonawanda School District, where she taught for 11 years as a secondary English teacher. She spent her final year there on special assignment, acting as an assistant superintendent and an assistant principal.

Vecchiarella said he likes Ellis because she has "developed a reputation as a dedicated child advocate and has dedicated a great deal of her personal time to ensure her students had real-world experiences beyond the school day. She has committed many years of professional development and study to curriculum and instruction."

Vecchiarella said Ellis completes his administrative plan in which he eliminated an unfilled assistant superintendent's post and split the duties of that job with the new director of curriculum and instruction and the executive director of education services. The executive director post is now held by Gregory Woytila who was appointed on July 31, 2007.

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Originally published by NEWS NIAGARA BUREAU.

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