Principal Julia Bott of the Ellis Mendell School in Roxbury has been named the 2021 Thomas C. Passios Elementary Principal of the Year and the National Elementary School Principal (NAESP) of the Year by the Massachusetts School Administrators Association (MSAA).
Bott graduated from Severna Park High School in 1998.
The program annually recognizes elementary school principals who demonstrate exemplary skills in instructional leadership, supporting a safe learning environment and fostering a collaborative culture of shared decision-making among all members of their school community.
“Principal Bott reflects Boston's core values in her school community by advancing the educational rigor, collaboration and achievement our great city is known for,” said Boston Mayor Kim Janey.
Bott is currently in her 11th year leading the Ellis Mendell School, a full-inclusion elementary school in Roxbury, where she proudly serves a racially, culturally and linguistically diverse student body in grades K0/K1 through five. She is completing her 20th year with Boston Public Schools (BPS), where she previously worked as an early childhood educator, program director and assistant principal at the Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston. Bott is a two-time graduate of Boston College, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in educational administration, and a degree in moderate special needs.
“Her innovative approach to leadership and commitment to consistent communication with her school community, throughout the pandemic, in particular, has been a beacon of hope for the entire school and BPS at large,” said BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. “Her work to provide inclusive and equitable environments in which her students thrive is admirable and aligned with the strategic vision of Boston Public Schools.”
Bott said her work is far from done and that antiracism is a verb: a daily commitment, a choice we must make over and over again.
“All students deserve to see accurate, affirming, strengths-based narratives of themselves in the curriculum,” she said. “All students have a right to learn about and celebrate the multitude of their identities and those of their peers. All students must be equipped and empowered with the knowledge and skills to question and challenge inequities around them. Elementary school is not too early to start these conversations. It is exactly the right time.”