Olivia Ellis, Co-Architect of PS 8’s Turn-Around, Has Passed

With heavy hearts, we share the sad news that Olivia Ellis passed away this week. Olivia, along with Principal Seth Phillips and others, revived PS 8 from a school on the verge of closure due to low enrollment, to one of the most sought-after schools it is today. Hailing from P.S. 321 where she taught second grade, Olivia came to PS 8 in 2003 to serve as Instructional Specialist, armed with all she learned at the highly successful Park Slope school.

Olivia and a dedicated team of staff and parents rolled up their sleeves and got to work, not just on curriculum and teacher development, but painting, scrubbing and cleaning out a disheveled building. There wasn’t much Olivia was unwilling to do to, whether writing for the magnet grant that helped dramatically improve the school or hand-sewing lace curtains for the newly expanded library. After setting the school on its new and rising path, Olivia moved on to central office in 2006, to spread her immense talent to all of the city’s public schools as Director of School Support.

David Goldsmith, PS8 parent during the Olivia years and President of the Community Education Council for District 13 from 2011 to 2017, said:
Olivia had always been unwavering in her dedication to children and their families. In her few years at PS 8 she inspired all in our school community to join together, be bold and dream big on behalf of our children. We were “the little school that could” and with Olivia on the scene… we did! So many will miss Olivia!!
Funeral services will be held on
Friday, September 22, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM.

Joseph G. Duffy Funeral Home
255 9th Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11215

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society.

(Photo: From CEC 13’s facebook page, courtesy of family of Olivia Ellis.)

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