Meet Dr. Ella P. Ward

Councilwoman Dr. Ella Ward is running for United States Congress in the 4th District for the June 14th Democratic Primary, and she is serving her 3rd term on Chesapeake City Council after having served 6 years on the Chesapeake School Board. She was appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to a 4-year term on the Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University in 2014, and she served 8 years on the Virginia Board of Education, 5 years as Vice-President. Dr. Ward served Portsmouth Public Schools as a teacher and administrator for 35 years before retiring in 2004. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, a member of the Hampton Roads Transportation Organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, National Council of Negro Women, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Norfolk State University Alumni Association, Chesapeake NAACP, Chesapeake Rotary Club, Chesapeake Sports Club, South Norfolk Women’s Club, Chesapeake Democratic Women, Chesapeake Democratic Committee, and many others. She has won numerous awards including the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Award, ODU, Norfolk State University, and East Suffolk High School Outstanding Alumnus Award, just to name a few.

She has been happily married to her husband Herman for 51 years, and they have one son, Retired NAVY Commander and NSU Asst. Director of Facilities, Tory Ward. She is an active member of The Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church.

Professional Experience

  • Member, Chesapeake City Council 2006-2018
  • Member, Virginia Board of Education, 2003 to 2011; Vice President, 2006-2011
  • Member, Chesapeake School Board, 2000 to 2006
  • Vice-Chair Virginia School Boards
  • High School Teacher, 1969-1992
  • Secondary Assistant Principal, 1992-2004

Community Service

  • Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, Vice Chair
  • Hampton Roads Transportation Organization, Member
  • National Council of Negro Women, Member
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Member
  • Women’s Division, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Chesapeake, Member
  • Chesapeake Rotary, Board of Directors
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Member
  • Women’s Club of South Norfolk, Member
  • Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church, Greeter
  • Camelot and Dunedin Civic Leagues, Member
  • Norfolk State University Alumni
  • East Suffolk High School Alumni
  • Chesapeake NAACP, Life Member
  • Virginia PTA, Life Member
  • Order of Eastern Star, Member
  • Chesapeake Sports Club, Member


  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) and Ed. D., Virginia Tech
  • MS Secondary Education, Old Dominion University
  • BA in English and MA in Mass Communications, Norfolk State University


  • Married to Herman L. Ward, 51 years
  • Son, Torilus O. Ward, retired NAVY Commander and Assistant Facilities Director at Norfolk State University (wife Tandra)