Meroby Elementary School Principal Jodi Ellis stands Thursday in her new office in Mexico. Beside her is the school mascot, a pinto pony, and above her is a Siberian tiger, the mascot for Tripp Middle School in Turner where she was formerly a teacher. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — The Regional School Unit 10 board of directors has hired Jodi Ellis as principal of Meroby Elementary School in Mexico.

She has been a teacher for 22 years, 12 of them as a team leader. She taught seventh and eighth grades at Tripp Middle School in Turner and was a positive behavior intervention and support coach for teachers there. That intervention and support framework will also be used at Meroby, she said.

It is a framework “where you try to do . . . five positive comments to every negative,” Ellis said. The school also has the Meroby Code: Be kind, be safe, be respectful, be responsible.

“That’s explicitly taught to kids right from the beginning of the school year,” she said.

Her goals for the coming school year start with getting a feel for the culture and helping create a “culture of learning” where everyone, including herself, is comfortable with being a learner. She said she would like to create a learning environment where people know it’s OK to try hard things and it’s OK not to get them right the first time.

Ellis said she also wants to work at building good relationships with her staff and students so they know that they’re welcome to come and ask her questions at any time. “There are going to be times that I don’t know the answer, (but) I’ll find out for you,” she said.


In her free time she loves to sing.

“I’ve been a part of a few local bands” and sung at weddings, she said. “I have a pretty wide range, and I sing anything from classic rock all the way up to modern songs, some country music.”

The passion for music runs in her family, she said. One of her two adult sons plays the guitar.

Ellis also enjoys spending time hiking, fishing and kayaking.

Hired in late July, she succeeds Kim Fuller, who was a teacher for 11 years and was principal at Meroby for six. Fuller has been hired as principal at Turner Primary School, which is part of Maine School Administrative District 52 that includes Greene and Leeds.

RSU 10 includes Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner and Hanover.

Last month, voters in those towns approved a new $91.8 million school for Mexico and Rumford elementary and middle school students. About 98% of the cost would be paid by the Maine Department of Education in subsidized bonds.

The school is planned for the site of Mountain Valley Middle School at 58 Highland Terrace and Meroby Elementary School at 21 Cross St., both in Mexico. It would replace those schools and Rumford Elementary School.

The school would have space for up to 1,050 students and for children with disabilities from birth to 5 years old. Plans include a health clinic in partnership with Rumford Hospital and an early childhood education program run by Region 9 School of Technology staff and students.

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