Ellen McWilliams was appointed assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Akron Public Schools in January 2008. McWilliams, a life-long educator, began her career in the Akron schools in 1989 as a teacher and served in numerous key positions over her 22+ years with the district.
McWilliams was the district’s first Medicaid consultant, and she designed a new school-based Medicaid program in the Akron schools. The program generated more than $1 million annually for the district. She also served as the high school special education coordinator and eventually became the director of special education. In addition to her work in Akron Public Schools, McWilliams was a part-time faculty member in Educational Foundations and Special Services at Kent State University for 20 years.
Prior to joining the Akron schools, McWilliams held various positions within the field of counseling and education. She began her career as a culturally different language specialist in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights school district, she served as a counselor for children and adults in a private practice in the Akron area, and she worked as a research assistant at Kent State University’s Observation Analysis Lab. Her collegiate softball career and high school coaching experience also lead her to two years as an assistant softball coach at Kent State University.
McWilliams received a B.S. in Audiology from Illinois State University and earned an M.Ed. in School Counseling and a second M.Ed. in Deaf Education, both from Kent State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Administration, also from Kent State University. She completed a three-year Harvard Executive Leadership program with school, business and city leaders from Akron and is a member of Class 26 of Leadership Akron.