After reviewing six candidates in an hour-long executive session Monday night, the Blaine school board hired acting principal Scott Ellis to replace Dan Newell as principal at Blaine high school Monday night. The appointment is effective immediately.
Ellis, 38, was first hired by the district as a special education instructor after he earned a BA in secondary education from the University of Idaho in 1994. He received a masters in secondary school administration from Western Washington University in March, 2001 and was hired that fall as vice principal at Blaine high school.
The search process began with Newell’s resignation in January and included staff, community members and students on the search committee. “Scott was the clear choice. After reviewing the material the support of the board was unanimous,” said Blaine school superintendent Ron Spanjer. He added that he recommended Ellis based on his “demonstrated leadership skills, his extensive, quality experience in Blaine and his high level of commitment to supporting the needs of students and staff.”
Ellis was born in Chula Vista, California, where his father worked for the U.S. Immigration Department, now part of Customs and Border Protection. The family moved to Lynden when Ellis was in the fourth grade, to St. Louis three years later and then back to Lynden for his last two years of high school. Though he admitted moving while in high school was difficult, the former collegiate first baseman who batted just under .350 for his career took advantage of the change. “It was great to be in a big city. I went to probably 20 [St. Louis Cardinal] baseball games at Busch Stadium while we lived there,” he said.
Ellis graduated from Lynden in 1989 and went on to play baseball at Skagit Valley College where he earned his AA degree in 1991.
He decided on the University of Idaho after visiting a friend at Washington State University. “WSU was nice, but I also looked at the University of Idaho in Moscow and liked it even better,” he said diplomatically.
Ellis is married to Blaine native Kim DePauw Ellis. They live in Birch Bay with sons Cameron, 9, and Connor, 8, as well as their daughter Ainslee, 1.
“I’m excited about this,” Ellis said, “because this is not just where I work. It’s my home and community, the same place I started my career 15 years ago.”