Barbara Seelgen Ellis 

AmbassadorBarbara Seelgen Ellis headshot

I was a teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District for 36 years. After completing my student teaching at Hughes Junior High, I was hired by the District and assigned to Hughes as an English/social studies teacher. During a wonderful twenty-two years, teaching at the 7th,8th, and 9th grade levels I became English Department Chair and served in that capacity for twenty years. I was also selected by my peers to be a Mentor Teacher when that program was started and continued in that capacity during my tenure at Hughes. During this period, I was awarded a Golden Apple from the Teacher's Association of Long Beach (TALB) for my teaching and professional expertise, as well as recognition by the school's PTA. I wrote English curriculum for the District and made presentations at various in-service programs for teachers.

After my junior high years, I spent the next 14 years at my alma mater, Lakewood High School. I became English Department Chair after my first year and also continued serving as a mentor teacher until I retired in 2001. I was thrilled to become the LBUSD High school Teacher of the Year during my time at Lakewood, as well as receive other recognition.

I was lucky to be in a profession that I loved. I got up happy every morning to go to school, and I was fortunate to have married a man who was also in education and put up with a wife who sat every night reading student written essays and whose weekends always included writing lesson plans for the following week. He too, had been an English/journalism teacher before he became an administrator. Having married a man who knew exactly how much time and effort goes into a dedicated teacher’s work, he was supportive of me. He too, had a significant position for over the course of his 42 year professional career, he was principal of two elementary schools, one junior high, and then a high school principal at Wilson, Poly, and Jordan. Like me, when I returned to Lakewood High, one of his proudest accomplishments was when he returned to his alma mater, Poly High, as its principal after he had been a student there many years before.