Meet the Principal!

A long search for the right leader ended last weekend when Ellen Borenstein accepted our offer to become the founding principal at ICS.

Born in the Bronx and educated in Washington, DC, Ellen has been teaching and leading in elementary schools in Westchester County for 16 years.

She has taught 3rd and 4th grades and was an assistant principal in the Elmsford Union Free School District. Most recently she has been the Literacy Curriculum leader for the Concord Road School in Ardsley. Previously she helped to select the math curriculum for the Dobbs Ferry School District.

"Kids can do amazing things if we guide them and have high expectations for them," Ellen noted." The curriculum at ICS sets just such a standard."

She has designed and led numerous professional development workshops for teachers and mentored and coached teachers throughout the tri-state area. Ellen has been responsible for teacher evaluations, and has a well-developed sense of what good teaching looks like.

Ellen's husband Ben is the assistant principal of a charter high school in the South Bronx, having previously worked as a math teacher and founded a software company while they lived in San Francisco. They have three grown children; two of them work internationally, one in South America and the other in East Africa.

Having sat on the other side of the table at Back to School night, she has deep empathy for the challenges (and joys) of parenting. Ellen knows, "It's all about the kids. Forming a partnership between school and home is critical to a child's academic success. The person who stands up in front of your child every day is the link in that partnership. I thrive on finding and mentoring those teachers so that every child reaches his or her potential."

Maybe they even surprise themselves (and you) with what they can do!

Having worked in and experienced many public schools, Ellen was drawn to ICS’s coherent curricular approach and our willingness to challenge perceived orthodoxy. She had been looking for her next move for some time, and turned down several other principal offers. "The vision at ICS was what originally caught my eye, " she said. "But meeting Matthew and Daria I am confident that we will really change the discussion about what is possible in Brooklyn."

Ellen looks forward to getting to know the ICS families at our May enrollment meetings; details about them will be included in our email to parents after the lottery on April 3rd.