Ellen Kraska, Associate Principal of Encinal Elementary School

EK A creative and enthusiastic educator, Ellen joined the Menlo Park City School District as the Laurel School Assistant Principal in 2015.  She started as the Associate Principal at Encinal School in January 2022.

Born and raised in Michigan, Ellen is midwestern at heart and began her teaching career in 2004. She taught fourth and fifth grades in Michigan and locally in the Los Altos School District.  Ellen is passionate about implementing best practices in teaching and learning. In 2012 she was drawn to leave the classroom to serve teachers as an instructional coach. She worked as an instructional coach in both the Los Altos School District and the Palo Alto Unified School Districts.

After three years of implementing district-wide initiatives and supporting teachers across twenty schools, Ellen wanted a school to call home. She was thrilled to join the Laurel family and be a part of expanding Laurel to a K-5 school and opening the Upper Campus. She thoroughly enjoys being an Eagle at Encinal School as well!

As an administrator, Ellen is devoted to designing agile learning environments and child-centered, creative and engaging learning experiences. She loves to collaborate with staff, students and families so that ALL students enjoy learning and coming to school each day.

Ellen has a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University. Her thesis research focused on teacher mindset, professional learning and impact on instructional change. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator and has presented at local, state and national conferences. Ellen lives in Redwood City with her husband and two daughters. She loves to read, travel and root for the Michigan Wolverines.