Reinhardt Ellen (nee, Hershberger) Bay Reinhardt, 85, formerly of Columbus, OH, was born September 20, 1928, in Cleveland, Ohio, died on Monday, March 17, 2014, at Hawthorn Lakes Senior Living in Vernon Hills, IL. Ellen began her long career in education at the age of 13 when she taught 7th grade gym for six weeks while the regular teacher was on sick leave. She graduated from Columbus North High School, received a B.A. with honors in English from Baldwin Wallace College and M.A. in literature from Ohio State University, and later received an Advanced Certificate in Educational Administration from Ohio State. She taught for five years at Columbus Linden McKinley Junior/Senior High School before serving there as assistant principal for two years. In 1957 she moved to Waukegan to join the legendary Melba Wixom and Sam Filippo in managing the English and foreign language departments at Waukegan Township High School. When West Campus opened in 1959, she was assigned with similar responsibilities. In 1972 she was appointed Director of Secondary Education in which position she became noted at the state and national levels over the years for her curriculum innovations. Some of the programs she created include the social studies /foreign language class for 6th grade students at Cooke Magnet, the English/Latin classes at three junior highs, the GAP program at Jefferson for city gifted students, and the controversial but highly effective International Studies Program (ISR) at the high school. She was also responsible for a program of competency testing in English, math and composition which 6th, 8th, and 10th graders had to pass in order to move to the next educational level. An avid sports fan, she was also enthusiastic about promoting Title IX which gave girls equal access to varsity sports. Although most of her work was with teachers and principals, Ellen never lost touch with students. She provided free classes in SAT/ACT prep during the summers and the school year. She also coached the ISP Academic Decathlon Teams for five years, twice winning 3rd place in state competition. With her husband, John, she took student groups to Europe during the summer vacations. Well known through articles she wrote for national publications, and for speaking at state and national conventions, she was chosen as Kettering Fellow, was awarded the Governor's Prize for promoting international studies, and also received an award as an outstanding administrator from the Waukegan Board of Education. To her, the greatest award however came in the form of a surprise pep rally in her honor put on by students at West High School. After retiring from Waukegn in 1988, she worked for a year at the Lake County Educational Service Center as the Gifted consultant and then began a series of workshops on improving English skills for businessmen at Cherry Electric Company, and also for teachers in District 60. She later taught English at College of Lake County until she retired in 1998. From that time until 2013, she taught water aerobics at the North Lake YMCA. Ellen enjoyed books, travel (especially to New York and London), theater, sports, shopping, restaurants, and music. A trained singer, she soloed with the Waukegan Philharmonic Chorus and the St. Paul's Church Choir and sang leading roles in Mr. T's Tent Theater. She hated housework! Survivors include her stepsons, Rick (Julie) Bay, Steve Bay, and Mike (Julie) Bay; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by husbands Ott Bay and John S. Reinhardt, parents Elbert and Iva Hershberger, half-brother Zuig Lohr and two half-sisters Zita Smith and Sylvia Barker. Services are private for the family. Memorial donations are suggested to: Advocate Hospice, 365 Surryse Road, Suite 120, Lake Zurich, IL 60047. Please sign the online guest book at www.congdonfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 25, 2014