About Us

Ernesto Diaz

Ernesto Diaz Principal ernesto_diaz@hcpss.org 410-313-2524
I am delighted to serve as the principal of Ilchester Elementary School (IES), and it is my distinct privilege to partner with you in the education of your child. I am grateful to be surrounded by such motivated and caring staff members who work very hard to meet and exceed student needs. In my 25 years of experience with the Howard County Public School System, I have served as an elementary and middle school teacher and school-based administrator. In addition, I was the Manager of Teacher Recruiting and Hiring and Director of Staff Relations prior to my appointment as principal at Stevens Forest Elementary School in 2014. Along with Ms. Lorch and our entire staff, we will work hard to continue the legacy of success at IES by fostering an inclusive environment that promotes collaborative relationships with families, students, staff, and community members. I strongly believe in the IES vision statement, "...to create life-long learners who possess the skills, confidence, and knowledge to meet the challenges that they face today and beyond." I firmly believe that family involvement in a child's education is of vital importance especially when one considers that parents and families serve as the child's first and most important teacher. Meaningful and engaging family-school partnerships have a profound impact on a child's physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development. I invite you to become an active member of our learning community. Again, I am thrilled to serve as the principal of this wonderful school.

Shari Lorch

Shari Lorch Assistant Principal Shari_Lorch@hcpss.org 410-313-2524
Hello! My name is Shari Lorch and I am proud to have been chosen as the newest cheetah to serve as Ilchester Elementary’s Assistant Principal. I began my career in occupational therapy in 1992 and joined the staff of Howard County Public Schools in 2006. Prior to this, I was on staff with local hospitals and nursing homes, provided support to local school system’s Infant and Toddler Program, and worked in New Jersey at the Mercer County Jr/Sr School supporting students with special needs. I also spent 8 years with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where I served in an administrative role within a state hospital. I have worked with and provided support to students from infancy through high school, and have supported many schools throughout Howard County as staff. I most recently served on staff at Hanover Hills Elementary School and Thomas Viaduct Middle. During my tenure, I have provided support as an Acting Instructional Team Leader (ITL) in the Regional Early Childhood Center (RECC), Special Education, and also as an Acting Assistant Principal at Running Brook Elementary School. I have had success developing professional learning communities and am also the co-creator of a pilot program which centers on the use of block code to support students with autism spectrum disorder. I am a national and international presenter on this topic. Please know that I believe strongly in the balance of work, play, and sleep, and am passionate about diversity and inclusion in education. I look forward to partnering with Principal Diaz to support our community.

School Overview


It is our vision to create life-long learners who possess the skills, confidence, and knowledge to meet the challenges that they face today and beyond!


The mission of Ilchester Elementary School is to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that meets the academic needs of all of our learners, as we strive to inspire and guide students to become caring, responsible, independent, and productive members of our diverse community.

School Profile: Ilchester Elementary School
Fast facts about Ilchester ES listing special programs, total enrollment, accomplishments and more.

MSDE School Report Card
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) School Report Card reflects overall school performance using a combination of academic and school quality indicators.

Community Superintendent

With a focus on instruction as a birth-through-graduation continuum, Community Superintendents better position the school system to support students throughout their entire journey with HCPSS. View community superintendents by regional area.

Community Superintendent Area 2: Theo Cramer

Board of Education Representative

Howard County public schools are divided into school clusters, which are assigned to individual Board members to facilitate school visitations, attend special events, and provide a point of contact for each school community. View all BOE school cluster assignments.

IES BOE Representative: Chao Wu