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Alabama State School Board Member Ella Bell dead at age 71

Ella Bell, 71 (Source: State Board of Education)
Ella Bell, 71 (Source: State Board of Education)

Ella Bell was first elected to the Alabama State Board of Education in 2000.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 3:25 PM

A member of the Alabama Board of Education for nearly 20 years has died, according to the Alabama Education Association. 

Ella Bell, 71, was first elected to the board in 2000 and was in the middle of a four-year term that was set to end in 2021 when she passed away. She represented District 5 of the state, which includes Montgomery and a large section of west Alabama. 

Background*:

  • B.S., Tuskegee University, 1969
  • Master's degree in Educational Supervision, Alabama State University, 1974
  • Doctoral work in educational leadership (completed everything except dissertation), University of Alabama, 1974-1977
  • Tuskegee University Alumni Association
  • Montgomery Area United Way Board
  • SISTAS Inc. (support group for women surviving breast cancer)
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Montgomery Board Member
  • Delta Sigma Theta Inc. Sorority
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Co-Chair of Board of Stewardship
  • Chamber of Commerce National Government Committee
  • Montgomery County Democratic Conference, Vice-Chairperson for Women's Affairs
  • Alabama Democratic Conference
  • Spirit of Freedom Award from the City of Mosses in Lowndes County
  • Three Citations from the governor for State Combined United Way Campaign
  • Montgomery Area United Way Record Setting Fund Raiser for the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
  • Certificate of Appreciation from Alice McKinney, Chair of United Way
  • Certificate of Appreciation from Day Street Baptist Church for Women's Day Observance
  • Outstanding Leadership Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Outstanding Leadership Award from the Montgomery Community Action Agency
  • Certificate of Appreciation from SISTAS Inc.
  • Certificate of Appreciation from National Tots and Teens Inc.
  • Certificate of Appreciation from Alabama Volunteers and Corrections
  • Leadership Award for serving as President of the PTA from Carver High School
  • Outstanding Leadership Award from Trinity Lutheran School
  • Formerly employed with the Drop Out Prevention Center, Alabama State University

*Information from State Board of Education

Governor Kay Ivey took to Twitter to offer her condolences in Bell's passing and said in part, "I'll be in prayer for the family of State Board of Education member, Ella Bell. We shared a passion for the children of our state. She was an ardent champion of her district and will be missed."

In her bio on the State Board of Education (SBOE) website, she described her outlook on her role in the board:

"It is important for the State Board of Education to work closely with educators, parents, students, citizens, the business community, and government officials to continue to improve our schools. It is my goal to work with each of my fellow board members to continue to raise standards based on valid measures of knowledge, skills, and competency. Education is a vehicle that helps children succeed. As public servants, it is our job to steer that vehicle to the best of our ability."

After Bell graduated from Tuskegee University with a Bachelors of Science degree in 1969, she went on to receive her Master's degree in Educational Supervision from Alabama State University in 1974. She also conducted Doctoral work in educational leadership at the University of Alabama between 1974 and 1977.

Funeral arrangements for Bell have not been announced.

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