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School History

Mini-Biography of Ellen Porter Hubbell

Ellen Porter Hubbell was born in Bristol in 1871. She began school at age 4, and was placed in 2nd grade because she could already read. She graduated from Bristol High School in 1887, and then worked as a teaching assistant in a private kindergarten and was next in charge of a rural school in the area of Chippens Hill. She left to teach music and further her education. She returned to Bristol and became principal of Fifth Avenue School in 1920 (formerly located on Fifth Street), where she was also a third grade teacher and the janitor. She retired at age 70 (she probably would have stayed longer, but 70 was the mandatory retirement age) and was instrumental in creating the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut, and becoming its first president. Later, when the National Retired Teachers Association was organized in 1947, she was appointed to the Board of Directors. Ellen died on June 6, 1962, at the age of 91. Spunky to the end, she died while getting dressed to go to a party! At her funeral, her pastor was quoted as saying, "The outstanding significance of Ellen's life lay not in its length but in its spirit and quality. She did not sit on the sidelines, but was an enthusiastic participant." What a wonderful legacy to leave to the children who attend the school named for this great educator!