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Wasco schools say goodbye to Zach Ellis

Dr. Zach Ellis has 14 years of experience in education, seven of those in Wasco as a teacher at Palm Avenue when it was an elementary school, assistant principal and principal later as a middle school, assistant principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, summer school principal at John L. Prueitt Elementary and currently as principal of Teresa Burke Elementary. He will soon become a principal for the Rosedale Union School District, and colleagues who worked with him and students he taught, guided and supported say he will be deeply missed.

"What I will remember most about my time in Wasco is how much the community embraced and supported me at every point of my career here," Ellis said in a telephone interview last week. "I feel so much love and gratitude for all of my experiences here and the relationships I have had here. I love my students, parents, staff and leaders who have helped shape me. I really do love the community of Wasco.

"I've been a part of some pretty amazing teams. We spent many long hours together and supported and leaned on each other during some important seasons in our lives. They became a family to me, and those types of relationships I will forever hold dear. I know, without a doubt, those are the things I will remember most."

For him, education has always played an essential part in his life, and it has sparked his desire to dedicate himself to working with youth. "I've always had great experiences in education. My kindergarten teacher and my elementary principal were instrumental in developing me as a human being. While I've lost touch with my principal, I, to this day, still keep in touch with my kindergarten teacher."

There have been many highlights in his career in Wasco. "Every season in my career here in Wasco has brought something inspirational. Working with an amazing 5th grade team and staff as a teacher at Palm Avenue Elementary. My experiences working with an amazing admin team, leadership team and staff at Thomas Jefferson. Getting to open a new middle school and having the privilege to work for an amazing leader and friend, leadership team, and staff at Palm Avenue Middle School and then transitioning to an incredible team and staff at Teresa Burke. There have been so many pivotal moments in those times that forged forever relationships. I am so grateful for each of those experiences because they have grown me a bit more as an educator, leader, and, more importantly, a person."

Ellis has learned from his students, believing "that our students are innately good and deserve the best of what we can give day in and day out. The 'worst of the worst' are just students who haven't been heard or understood. Once you peel off that label and truly get to know that kid, you can move mountains. Seeing that over the past seven years has impacted me and my journey as an educator/leader."

He added that some have made his time in Wasco special. "There are so many people that I would like to thank, but unfortunately, you don't have enough ink for that. Instead, I will speak generally. Thank you to the families, the students, the community, the teachers, the staff, my colleagues, each of the teams I have served, and the board for your unparalleled commitment towards 'better.' I wish each and every one of you nothing but the best."

 

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