Susan Ellinghaus, principal of the Meadowbrook Alternative Program in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, was recently lauded as one of the most devoted supporters of public education on Long Island by Nassau BOCES.
Ellinghaus was among 13 honorees to receive the 2019 Nassau BOCES Education Partner award — given annually to people and organizations whose impact on public education in Nassau County can be measured in tangible ways.
A strategic education partner with school districts since 1967, Nassau BOCES created the awards program to recognize those who share its mission of ensuring a successful, challenging, caring and safe environment that enables students of all ages and abilities to achieve their maximum potential. These outstanding individuals and organizations have made strides in accomplishing key educational goals embraced by Nassau BOCES, such as ensuring student success.
Ellinghaus was honored at an awards gala held by the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that raises funds for innovative educational programs that fall outside of the agency’s budget.
The Meadowbrook Alternative Program provides a second chance for students who have not been successful in a traditional classroom setting. As principal, Ellinghaus has helped to make MAP one of the most successful programs of its kind on Long Island. She is committed to giving students and staff alike whatever they need to be successful, BOCES officials said.
MAP offers a supportive school environment that nurtures students physically, socially and emotionally, creating a safe space where they know they are valued. Ellinghaus is known for making time to sit with each student individually, discussing everything from what schedule works best, to issues they may be having at school. The program boasts nearly 200 graduates — and many of them visit regularly, taking great pride in their alma mater and happy to be part of the MAP family.
Ellinghaus is equally committed to her staff, working closely with them to determine what is needed to help students become the most successful. She is also happy to lend her expertise to other districts working toward launching their own alternative programs, who seek her guidance based on MAP’s success.
“Susan Ellinghaus is more that just a principal,” wrote her award nominator. “She embodies all the characteristics of an incredible leader. Rather than sitting at her desk in her office, she takes the extra time to see, hear and connect with the students and staff. She continually thinks outside the box and adapts to provide what is needed most, and her intuition is always spot on. Susan has made a tremendous impact on education in the Bellmore-Merrick schools.”
For more information about the Nassau BOCES Education Partner awards, including profiles of prior year honorees, please visit www.nassauboces.org/educationpartner.