Suffolk native named to education board

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 2, 2003

A Suffolk native was appointed to the Virginia Board of Education recently by Gov. Mark R. Warner.

Ella Porter Ward had already been serving on the Chesapeake Board of Education since May 2000 and will now serve on both boards. She replaces Audrey B. Davidson, a middle school teacher from Danville, who had on the board since January 1999. Ward’s term began Jan. 29, when Davidson’s ended.

&uot;Ella Ward has dedicated a lifetime to helping educate students, first as an English and journalism teacher and now as an assistant principal at Cradock Middle School in Portsmouth,&uot; said Warner. &uot;As a teacher, assistant principal, and an elected member of the Chesapeake School Board, she brings a strong commitment to holding students, teachers, and schools accountable as the State Board makes decisions that will guide Virginia’s children and our public schools for many years to come.&uot;

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&uot;It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be challenging,&uot; said Ward. &uot;The education background is going to be an asset for me,&uot; she said.

Ward attended Suffolk public schools and was the valedictorian of the former East Suffolk High School class of 1964. She was also a graduate of the class of 1969 at Norfolk State University where she received a B.A. degree in English. Other academic accomplishments include: Doctor of Education, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, Master of Science in Educational Administration (Magna Cum Laude), and she is a Danforth Scholar (earned a second Master’s Degree as a participant in Danforth/Tidewater Principal Preparation Program.

Ward has worked more than 30 years in Portsmouth schools, taught English for 22 years, and journalism for 12 years at Woodrow Wilson High School before becoming assistant principal at Cradock.

She was featured in a Q&A article in the News-Herald last summer after she took a tour of her hometown newspaper while attending an ESH Alumni Association reunion.

Ward and her husband Herman L. Ward reside in Chesapeake. They have one son, Torilus, and a daughter-in-law, Tracy, who live in Charleston, S.C. Ward is also the daughter of Eula Odom, a resident of Nansemond Pointe Rehabilitation and Healthcare Centre.

Editor’s note: February is Black History Month and Evelyn Wall will be writing several articles during the month. Anyone who would like to have an article published on the subject or any person of color who has made an impact on history in some way should contact Wall at 934-9615.