13abc salutes Black History Month: Dr. Crystal Ellis - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

13abc salutes Black History Month: Dr. Crystal Ellis

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Dr. Crystal Ellis was born in 1933 in Springfield Ohio. In 1951 he moved to Northwest Ohio after receiving a basketball scholarship from Bowling Green State University. He was the first African American on BGSU's basketball team.  His memorabilia is on display at the African American Legacy Project. Robert Jones is the founder. He tells 13 ABC,

"He was the only African American on the team but in his second year he was the captain."

Ellis used his athletic ability to fund his dreams of higher education. Smith tells 13 ABC,

"Athletics didn't define Mr. Ellis ...Mr. Ellis was defined by his relationships with other people."

His genuine love for children lead him to Toledo Public Schools serving as a teacher, a basketball coach and a principal.  In 1991, He became the first African American Superintendent for the district. Smith tells 13 ABC,

"He represents what a man should be...there are many who dare to emulate him."

Ellis retired from his role as superintendent of TPS in 1996...but in 2006, He went back to serve as chief of staff.  At the age of 80, He continues to mentor those around him. Ellis is referred to as "educator royalty" leaving behind a gold standard for others to follow.

To learn more about the African American Legacy Project click here http://africanamericanlegacy.org/

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