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Nissa Ellett is new Heth administrator

Nissa Ellett, Heth Washington Elementary School’s new principal, said moving from art to administration helps her be creative and ‘think outside the box.’
Ellett, 34, taught art for six years in the South Harrison Community School Corp., and she was art director for Community Unity’s World on the Square event for four years.
A 1989 graduate of Shakamak High School in Jasonville, Ellett earned her bachelor’s degree in art education for K-12 at Indiana University in Bloomington. During that time she spent three years working with preschool children.
She was a substitute teacher for two years before taking the art teacher’s position at Corydon Central High School. Ellett was at CCHS from 1999 to 2004. At Corydon Central, she was the Renaissance coordinator, art club advisor and spirit club founder.
During that time she completed her master’s degree in education and acquired her principal’s license.
Ellett taught art at New Middletown, South Central and Heth Washington elementary schools during the 2004-2005 academic year. She was hired in May as principal of Heth Washington replacing recently retired Doug Cornett.
Ellett took on the challenge of moving from the art room to the office ‘because I love kids and I love all the aspects of Renaissance, making education a positive experience for the kids. I want them to love education and love school,’ she said.
Renaissance was started in 1988 to recognize students for positive behavior, good grades and improved academics. Teachers and staff are also recognized.
Ellett served as Renaissance coordinator and helped bring the program to Harrison County.
Amidst all the positives, Ellett has implemented what she thought would be an unpopular policy, but the transition has been a relatively smooth one.
‘I took away snacks and junk food. I thought that would be an issue. They can get a healthy snack on Friday if they’ve had no behavior problems and no tardies,’ she said.
Considering the contrast between her past role as an art teacher and her new roll as an administrator, some have asked Ellett if she feels stifled.
‘I get that a lot. I think one advantage to having taught art and then going into an administrative role is it is easy for me to think outside of the box. I can be very creative in every aspect of it,’ she said.
‘I’m not your typical principal, I don’t think. I’m also more of a critic. I can step back and look at things objectively,’ Ellett said.
And, Ellett said, she isn’t just happy with her role, but she’s also pleased with where she is performing it.
‘It feels like home. It’s a small school and everyone works well together. I truly just love being here. The kids are awesome. We have our moments, of course, but, for the most part, they’re all really good and excited to be here.’