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Meet Lisa

Born and raised in South Carolina, Lisa Ellis has focused her professional impact on empowering students, teachers, and families. Through her career in education, she’s developed innovative ways to engage with and improve the public education experience for South Carolinians for over 20 years. She is also the Founder and a Board Member of SC for Ed, an organization of South Carolina teachers advocating on behalf of students and themselves to put the best teachers in every classroom in the state. 

Since its founding, Lisa and SC for Ed have:

  • Built a community forum of over 29,000 South Carolinians to discuss educational improvement.

  • Advocated for a minimum 4% salary increase.

  • Developed relationships with key educational stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, district officials, and policymakers. 

  • Rallied over 10,000 public education supporters outside the SC Statehouse to demand change for improved teacher salaries. 

  • Garnered legislative support for a guaranteed daily planning period for elementary and special education teachers to coordinate lesson plans for each day. 

With a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Charleston, Lisa holds both a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Columbia College and a Master of Science in Forest Resource Management from Clemson University. Lisa began teaching in 2001 and has since taught English, Leadership, and communications courses to high school and middle school grades. 

As Director of Student Activities for two separate schools during her career, Lisa has consistently engaged students in their school activities. In this capacity, she’s had more than a front-row seat, playing an active role in fostering student participation in extracurricular activities, student councils, and community service projects – all critical to a young person’s development. 

Lisa knows that while students are both part of and a result of the education equation, prepared teachers and curriculum are critical to student outcomes. As a teacher and Instructional Facilitator, Lisa has managed collaboration for best teaching practices, implemented school-level real-world professional development, and analyzed school and state data to implement data-driven improvements.

Lisa is acutely aware of the social, behavioral, and mental health challenges facing our students today. In 2016, she secured school-wide grants to promote teaching the whole child. These grants created an outdoor classroom and garden and a school recycling program, which granted access to real-world learning experiences. It is this same motivation to ensure the health of students that drives Lisa’s commitment to empowering student activities and student councils. 

Advocating for students, teachers, and families is why Lisa has remained so involved with each educational community she serves. It is why she’s developed curriculum and whole-person programs for students. It is why she initiated a Teacher Advocacy Group to enhance shared leadership skills. It is why she is running to serve as South Carolina Superintendent of Education. 

Lisa has been recognized for her excellence in teaching and educational professions. She has earned the accolades of Honors Student Teacher of Excellence, Student Council Advisor of the Year, Staff of the Month, Columbia Business League Phenom, and more. She is also a proud CERRA Mentor and member of the Junior League of South Carolina. 

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