Mark Ward 2016


Ellicottville Central Schools



Originally from Salamanca, NY, Mark Ward graduated from Ellicottville High School in 1971 and St. Bonaventure University in 1975. Ward He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, a Master of Science Degree in Education, and an Advanced Certificate of Educational Administration. 


Mark has worn many hats during his 35 year administrative career.  He served as Ellicottville Central Schools Athletic Director (1980-1998) and Principal (1985-2000); Section VI Football Federation Committee member (1980-2000), Athletic Council  member 1995-2006), President (1996-1998), and Athletic Council CA BOCES Superintendent Representative (2008-present); NYSPHSAA Central Committee Principal and Superintendent Representative (1995-2006), Officer (2006-2014), and President (2010-2012); Salamanca City Central Schools Superintendent (2000-2004); Olean City Schools Superintendent (2004-2008); and Ellicottville Central Schools Superintendent (2008-present).


Over the years, Mark has played an instrumental role in many Section VI, Olean City Schools, Ellicottville Central Schools and NYSPHSAA initiatives.  He served as a member of the Football Federation Committee for twenty years, during which time, he assisted in developing and implementing the current playoff format and tie-breaking system.  The officials’ fingerprint requirement was implemented during his role as the Section VI SAVE Legislation Compliance Chairman.  Section VI’s  Constitution and By-laws were revised under his leadership as Policy Committee Chairman.  During his service as a Section VI Finance Committee member, membership dues were reduced by establishing budgetary parameters for accumulated reserves. He also promoted and advocated for the transition to a full-time Executive Director.  As Superintendent of Olean City Schools, he implemented a policy of not charging for admission to any athletic events.  In addition to implementing an interscholastic skiing program at Ellicottville Central School, his involvement contributed to the lighting of the football field, building a cinder track, addition of scoreboards for the athletic fields, new press box and concession stand, building of a new baseball and soccer fields, and a $12,000,000 capital project involving the building of a new multi-purpose gym, music suite, locker rooms and fitness    facility.  One of his most successful projects has been the merging of the Franklinville and Ellicottville football programs, which has been extremely well received by the involved players, parents, and communities.  And, when difficult economic times hit  schools districts across the State of New York, Mark was a strong advocate to reduce the number of sports contests, meetings, and travel costs in an effort to preserve athletic programs.  As NYSPHSAA President, Mark was presented with a number of  financial, structural, and organizational challenges.  Through his leadership, new policies and procedures were established to guarantee transparency and ensure the long term future of the organization.


Throughout his lengthy career as an educator, Mark’s dedication and commitment to education and athletics expanded to lead others to succeed personally and professionally.  His leadership inspired many students to become teachers, teachers to become coaches, teams to seek success, and many athletes to further their athletic experiences beyond high school.  And yet, while athletics and student-athletes have been one his largest focuses, community involvement has been a hallmark of his life.  While his list of civic interests is rather long, the one that has meant the most is his 45 years with the Great Valley Volunteer Fire   Company.  Serving as Chief, fifteen years in a row, and as line officer since 1976; his involvement has almost been a way of life.  In 1988, he played an integral role in bringing an ambulance service to Great Valley, thus forming the Ellicottville/Great Valley Ambulance Inc., of which he has remained a member serving as EMT and driver.  Another large part of his time is centered around his involvement with the Holy Name of Mary RC Church where he serves as a Eucharistic Minister, usher, choir member, and past president of the Parish Council.  Other interests include: long time involvement with politics serving as a Cattaraugus County Legislator (2008-2011), two years as Minority Leader, Democratic Committeeman, Trustee for Jamestown Community College since 2005, Board of Directors member for CCSE Federal Credit Union in Ellicottville/Salamanca, 4th Degree Knights of  Columbus,  Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor, Ancient Order of Hibernians member, and Ellicottville Historical Society member.


Mark resides in Great Valley, NY with his wife Barbara.  He has a son, Justin, and a daughter, Vanessa