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Board Director Zuki Ellis Receives Marny Xiong Legacy Award

Vice Chair Jessica Kopp also recognized by Minnesota School Boards Association

ST. PAUL, Minn. (January 12, 2023)—Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) Board of Education Director Zuki Ellis was recognized at the annual Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) conference today with the Marny Xiong Legacy Award.

The Marny Xiong Legacy Award was established in 2020 to honor the contributions of late SPPS School Board Chair Marny Xiong. Chair Xiong died in June 2020 at the age of 31 due to COVID-19. She dedicated years of service for the betterment of all children, particularly those who were underserved and underrepresented.   

The Marny Xiong Legacy Award aims to highlight school board directors who have spent years making a lasting impact on the lives of children, teachers and administrators, and have been a fierce advocate for marginalized communities.

“I want to congratulate Director Ellis on receiving the 2023 Marny Xiong Legacy Award. This award means a lot not only to SPPS, but to everyone who continues to keep the spirit of Marny in our heads and hearts,” said SPPS Superintendent Joe Gothard. “Director Ellis upholds all of the values that this award represents, and the children and families of St. Paul are lucky to have her advocating for them.”

Board Vice Chair Jessica Kopp also received a Directors’ Award from MSBA for completing 100 or more hours of MSBA training programs within their term.