West Hartford Superintendent Names Interim Principal for Bristow Middle School

Dr. Chad Ellis has been named interim principal of Bristow Middle School. Courtesy photo

Bristow Principal Steven Cook will be leaving the district and Dr. Chad Ellis has been named as interim principal of the West Hartford middle school. 

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore has announced that Dr. Chad Ellis will assume the role of interim principal at Bristow Middle School following the departure of Steven Cook.

Cook’s last day at Bristow is Jan. 24, Moore said, and he will be leaving the district to become director of Human Resources of ACES, a regional education service center in southern Connecticut.

Cook has been Bristow’s principal since 2014. “This is an excellent opportunity for Mr. Cook and we are grateful for the leadership that he has provided to Bristow during his tenure,” Moore said in a letter to the Bristow community.

Ellis “has the personal qualities and experience” to serve as interim principal at Bristow for the remainder of this school year, Moore said. He has worked for West Hartford Public Schools for the past nine years, and has been a Social Studies Department supervisor in West Hartford for the past seven years. He has been serving as interim principal at King Philip Middle School while that principal is on a brief leave, Moore said, and has previously been a high school principal and assistant principal in other districts.

Assistant Superintendent Paul Vicinus said Ellis has had the opportunity to meet with Cook over the past few weeks and is fully prepared to assume the role of interim principal.

Moore said that having Ellis step in on an interim basis will allow the administration to meet with stakeholders in the Bristow community to discuss “what qualities we are looking for in a principal to lead Bristow in the 2020s.”

Those discussions, and the search process, will take place over the next few months, Moore said. He expects a rich pool of candidates from inside and outside the district to apply for the principal position at Bristow.

Ellis has multiple degrees from the University of Connecticut: a B.S. in history education, an M.A. in curriculum and instruction, a 6th year, and a Ph.D. in educational administration. “Dr. Ellis’ problem-solving skills, communication, collaborative nature, and high expectations make him an excellent match for the engaged and supportive community of Bristow Middle School,” Moore said.

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