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Former NCAE president Rodney Ellis dies, association says

September 11, 2016 GMT

Former North Carolina Association of Educators President Rodney Ellis has died, according to the association.

A Facebook post from the NCAE said Ellis died Saturday. It’s unclear how Ellis died, but posting on social media and statements by Ellis’ family indicate his death was sudden.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and immediate Past President Rodney Ellis,” current NCAE President Mark Jewell wrote in the post. “He committed his life to his family and to making public schools better for every child. We will miss his tremendous leadership at NCAE and his tenacious commitment to public education. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Ellis’ family also released a statement about his death, saying they are suffering and asking for time to grieve his death.

Gov. Pat McCrory also weighed in on Ellis’ passing, saying that he was “a dedicated advocate with a passion for public education. His devotion to North Carolina’s students was a labor of love. Ann and I offer our prayers for his family at this difficult time.”