Jane Ellis, beloved former educator and namesake of Ellis Elementary in the Arlington ISD, died Sunday, June 9, 2019. She was 101.
“Jane Robin Ellis will live with our school and school community forever: in countless memories of her unforgettable presence on the campus, in music when we sing our beloved school song composed by her, and in the pride we all share to be a part of her great legacy,” Ellis Elementary Principal Keith Boyd said. “In Ms. Ellis’ last handwritten letter to me, she wrote that it is ‘a wonderful privilege to learn and grow,’ and she requested three things: that I take good care of the school, that I lead with kindness, and that I help the teachers and students do their best to be their best.
“She was so proud to share her name with our school, as we are to be her namesake,” Boyd said.
Ellis retired in 1982 after serving 41 years in the AISD. She taught music for 25 years and the remaining 16 years were spent as Dean of Girls and Assistant Principal at Bowie High School.
Until her death she continued to be an active member of the community and attend many functions at her school. She drew a large crowd, including Ellis Elementary students, AISD Board members and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and city council members, to her 100th birthday party last year.
Ellis Elementary, located at 2601 Shadow Ridge Drive in northeast Arlington, opened in 1989 with additions constructed in 1992 and 2000. At the school’s 10-year anniversary celebration, Ellis said, “This school is not the fine school it is because of a name across its open door. Rather, it is a fine school because that from the time the first footsteps entered that ‘open door’, excellence in everything that relates to children was the key word and the attainment of excellence became the reason for being and doing!”
Kay Owens, choral director at Martin High School, met Ellis when she moved to Arlington 26 years ago. They bonded through their common love for all things music and choir.
“Even though she had been retired for a while she was very encouraging and interested in my choir,” Owens said. “Every time I would see her she was asking me about my next concert, my next spring trip, my choir’s future. You could always find her at various AISD and Community Concerts throughout the years. I was not one of her students but she took such an interest in my career as an educator. She left that legacy in Arlington – always encouraging and interested in YOU.”
Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 14, at the First United Methodist Church of Arlington at 313 North Center in Arlington. There will be no visitation.