Councilwoman Dr. Ella P. Ward was elected to Chesapeake City Council in May 2006 and re-elected for a second four-year term on May 4, 2010. She was elected to the Chesapeake School Board in 2000 and re-elected to a second four-year term in 2004. In January 2003, Dr. Ward was appointed to a four-year term on the Virginia Board of Education by Gov. Mark Warner and re-appointed by Governor Tim Kaine in January 2007. She was first elected Vice-president of the Virginia Board of Education on February 15, 2006 and re-elected to that position for four consecutive terms.
Although she was an elected official in Chesapeake, Dr. Ward served eight consecutive years on the Virginia Board of Education in Richmond and was honored this year for having served the longest term of elected office in the 140-year history of the Virginia Board of Education.
In 2004, Dr. Ward retired from the Portsmouth Public School System with 35 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. She taught English and Journalism for a combined total of 23 years at Wilson High School and served as an assistant principal at Waters and Cradock Middle Schools for 12 years.
Dr. Ward has earned five degrees: a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in Communications from NSU, a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from ODU, and both a CAGS degree and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Ward’s extensive community service involvement includes active membership in the following organizations: Women’s Division Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Woman’s Club of South Norfolk, Chesapeake Rotary Club (Board of Directors), Chesapeake Sports Club, National Council of Negro Women, Portsmouth Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Norfolk State University Alumni Association (Portsmouth Chapter), Chesapeake Branch of NAACP (Life Member), Conference of Minority Public Administrators, Deep Creek PTA, Deep Creek Band Parents Association, Great Bridge Battlefield Waterways and Historical Society, River Bend Civic League, Dunedin Civic League, Camelot Civic League, Camelot PTA, East Suffolk High School Alumni Association, Tidewater Seniors in Action, the Chesapeake Democratic Committee and many others.
Her awards, which are numerous, include the YWCA Women of Distinction Award; EFM Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award; Zeta Phi Beta Finer Womanhood Award; the Old Dominion University Outstanding Alumnus Award; East Suffolk High School Outstanding Alumnus Award; “Strong, Smart, Bold Women” Award by Girls’ Inc.; Delta Dream Maker Award; Camelot Community Service Award; Dunedin Civic League’s Community Service Award, Delicados Outstanding Teacher Award, and many others.
Dr. Ward is a member of Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church where she serves as a Church Greeter. She is a devoted wife, mother, and family member. She has been happily married to Herman L. Ward for 47 years, and they have one son, Torilus (Tandra), who is the General Manager for Plant Operations at Tuskegee University and a retired NAVY Commander of the U.S. NAVY Reserves.