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* Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) special program
** Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) & Gifted Academy special programs
*** Offers Adult Education program

Meet the Principal

John Schmelzer

Welcome to Ellis Elementary School! A school where students come first.

This is evident in the dynamic environment we are creating and in the learning spaces throughout our school. Students are provided the skills and tools necessary to be successful in school, at home and in life. We believe in fostering a growth mindset, embracing challenges to help all students grow and develop their abilities. We believe that all students can learn.

This is my third year at Ellis Elementary School and my 5th year in Rockford Public Schools. Prior to working at Ellis, I taught 5th grade at Lewis Lemon Elementary School. In total, I’ve been in education for more than 26 years. I graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and started teaching 5th grade in in the Quad Cities. Since then, my career has taken me to the northwest suburbs of Chicago where I was both an elementary school principal and a junior high school principal. Along the way I earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. All of my experiences have prepared me to lead Ellis Elementary School.

Although I’m not from the Rockford area, I grew up along the Rock River in Moline, about two hours southwest of Rockford. In many ways Rockford reminds me of home. They both have historic neighborhoods, a resilient spirit, and innovative people who strive to make their community a better place for all. My wife is a special education teacher working at the elementary level. I have three children who mean the world to me and remind me daily of why I became a teacher.

Parents are a valuable partner in the education of their children. I know you put a lot of trust in us when you send your children to school each day. We won’t let you down. Their success is our success. I look forward to working with you and your children at Ellis.

John Schmelzer  |