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Second-year middle school teacher Ellis Gibbard-Maiorino’s connection to Mary McDowell Friends school runs deep. A former student, Ellis started his journey with us in the 5th grade and he attended through 8th grade, back before the upper school opened. While he was a student at Winston Preparatory School, Ellis worked at the MMFS afterschool program until he enrolled at Marist College. Driven by an interest in art, Ellis decided he wanted to study art and advertising. “I thought I wanted to make ads, but quickly figured out it was not for me,” he recalls. After graduating from Marist, Ellis continued to work in the afterschool program here at MMFS and became a vibrant presence in the middle school community at Summit Street. When an opportunity arose for him to step into the classroom as an art teacher, Ellis was thrilled to accept. He loves being a member of the art team because it allows him to support our students in learning through creation and expression of all types. If you peek into his classes at Summit Street, you can find Ellis engaging students in all types of art activities from sketching to woodshop!
Ellis is an artist in his own right. When he isn’t teaching or working at afterschool, he loves painting and drawing. He also enjoys spending time riding his bike all over Queens.
One piece of advice Ellis has for seniors is “Just do what it takes to make you happy. Regardless of what everyone around you is doing, find what makes YOU happy and explore it to the fullest.”