Naomi Sponable

ELLSWORTH, MICHIGAN – For the upcoming 2021-22 school year, Ellsworth Community School will be adding a new full-time PK-12 administrative position. The district has agreed to terms with local resident Naomi Sponable to become the lead PK-12 principal for both the elementary and middle/high school buildings. This is an entirely new position created by the ECS Board of Education to help provide additional services and supports for students, staff, and families in the school district.

 For the past 15 years, the ECS District has operated primarily with a single administrator acting as both Superintendent and PK-12 Principal. “We’re extremely excited that we’re able to add on a full-time administrator for the upcoming school year,” said current ECS Superintendent/Principal, Aaron Gaffney. “While occasionally in the past we’ve experimented with adding additional administration in the form of a Dean of Students or Assistant Principal, this is the first time in over a decade and a half that ECS will employ both a separate  Superintendent and K-12 Principal.”

 The hiring of Mrs. Sponable for this new position was a natural fit according to Superintendent Gaffney. “Naomi has worked in our buildings as our PK-12 Communities in Schools Site Coordinator. She brings a wealth of experiences to the position and already has positive relationships developed with staff, student, and families.”

 Mrs. Sponable echoed those same thoughts when describing her new position with the district. “For the past two years, I have been able to get to know parents and students through my work with Communities in Schools, and I think that role will help with the transition to this new position.” She’s eager to get to work in her new role, indicating that “it is a privilege to continue to support students and families as the ECS Principal. I look forward to working with the School Board, Superintendent Gaffney and the teachers and staff to further the tradition of academic excellence represented in the Ellsworth community.”

 For his part, Superintendent Gaffney is also looking forward to the new partnership. “I’m beyond thrilled that Mrs. Sponable will be stepping into this new role.” He stressed that the job of school administrator is more difficult than ever, which has only been exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The role of PK-12 school administrator is far too big for just one person. I know that the students, staff, and families of ECS will benefit greatly from having an additional administrator working in the district.”

 Gaffney also shared that the District will be working closely with Communities in Schools of Northwest Michigan to replace Mrs. Sponable’s Site Coordinator position. “While we’re excited Mrs. Sponable will be taking over our new principal position, we have come to greatly value our partnership with Communities in Schools.” The school district and Communities in Schools of Northwest Michigan will be working collaboratively over the coming weeks to place a new Site Coordinator in Ellsworth.

 In the meantime, Superintendent Gaffney and Principal Sponable will be working throughout the summer to flush out responsibilities and plan for the upcoming 2021/22 school year. “There’s always a lot to do over the summer,” indicated Gaffney. “This summer will be no different. Mrs. Sponable and I will be spending quite a bit of time determining who will be responsible for the wide variety of different administrative tasks.” Gaffney went on to indicate that he hopes the new school year can look much more normal after surviving the past COVID-19 plagued year.

 For more information on Ellsworth Community School please contact either Superintendent Gaffney at or Principal Sponable at