Rodney Ellis’ legacy will live on at Philo-Hill

Rodney Ellis

Rodney Ellis’ legacy will live on at Philo-Hill
December 15
08:00 2016

School board votes unanimously to rename classroom in his honor 



Soon a classroom at Philo-Hill Middle School will be renamed to honor the life and legacy of Rodney Ellis.

Ellis, who passed away earlier this year after a brief illness, began his teaching career in 1999 as an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Atkins Middle School (now Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy).

After serving as the president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators (FCAE), Ellis was elected to the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) president in 2012. During his tenure as NCAE president and as a teacher, Ellis made it his mission to inspire children from low income households to shoot for the stars. While teaching at Philo-Hill, after his tenure as NCAE president, Ellis spearheaded a step team, a book room for students, and other programs.

Those who knew him well say Ellis always put children first.

“He dedicated many years of his life advocating for all children to make certain they revived the best education possible,” said current FCAE President Rhonda Mays.

Before voting unanimously to rename the classroom in his honor during the school board meeting on Tuesday, members of the school board talked about the impact Ellis had on the hundreds of students he came in contact with over the years. Board Vice Chairman Robert Barr, who worked with Ellis in the early 2000s, said if anyone could reach priority or low performing students, it was Ellis.

Longtime board member Elizabeth Motsinger said Ellis had tremendous courage and wasn’t afraid to say what needed to be said.

“Every one of us can learn a thing or two from Rodney,” said Motsinger. “He showed us how to be fierce and yet kind in our protection of our children.”

Superintendent Dr. Beverly Emory said what impressed her most about Ellis was his willingness to return to the classroom after serving as NCAE president. She said that says a lot about what kind of person Ellis was.

Emory also thanked the staff at Philo-Hill for helping make Ellis’ dream a reality.

“Of all the things he could have done, he chose to return to Philo-Hill, that was the place he wanted to be,” continued Emory. “He had this vision of things he wanted to do for students – a step team, this book room and no one should ever be hungry.”

“Many of Rodney’s visions have come to be, and his legacy will live on. We appreciate everything he has done for this district.”

A special ceremony to honor Ellis is expected to be held at Philo-Hill next week. According to Emory, the staff at the school has been working for months to prepare for the event.

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors