Our People

Head of School

Robin O. Newham, Head of School

Mrs. Robin O. Newham was named Head of The Ellis School by the School's Board of Trustees in December 2013. Mrs. Newham has been a member of the Ellis community since joining the faculty of The Ellis School in 1981. She taught studio arts and art history at Ellis from 1981 to 1998. During that time she initiated the School's Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art program, which remains one of the true hallmarks of excellence at Ellis. Mrs. Newham also served as Grade 9 Dean in 1997-1998, and was named Director of the Upper School in the 1998-1999 school year.

As Upper School Director, she oversaw the education of every girl in the division and was responsible for leadership and management of faculty and students in grades 9-12. Mrs. Newham also played an integral advisory role in the design of the Hillman Upper School Building, which was dedicated in September 2000. She served as Interim Head of School from September to December 2013.

In addition to her work at Ellis, Mrs. Newham has been active as a leader serving independent schools and talented students. She has served on numerous accreditation teams visiting independent schools across Pennsylvania. From 1986 to 2000, she served as a faculty consultant to the College Board's Middle States and Midwest regions where she conducted AP workshops for beginning and experienced Advanced Placement studio and art history teachers. From 1992 to 2005, she was an Advanced Placement Reader for Educational Testing Services. From 1995 to 1998, she was one of only two high school art teachers in the nation to serve as an AP Studio Art Table Leader along with a four-member team of college art professors. 

Prior to joining Ellis, she taught in the Pittsburgh Public Schools Elementary Scholars program working with gifted students, and served on the faculty of the Pace School as an art instructor. In addition, Mrs. Newham taught drawing at the Carnegie Mellon University Saturday Pre-College program. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with Bachelor of Arts degrees in studio art and art history as well as a Master of Education. She also pursued graduate coursework in drawing from Carnegie Mellon and art history from the University of Pittsburgh.

Messages to Ellis Parents

"I am strongly committed to the Ellis mission of academic excellence in an all-girls environment and am privileged to lead Ellis at such an important time in the School's history. I am honored to join my predecessors over the past 98 years in upholding the School's tradition of excellence in educating girls and look forward to leading Ellis to its exciting future as we approach our Centennial.”