The first classes for the education of the children of Talldaega City were hold in the Old Northside School until 1908. Later, classes were housed in the Old Graham School with high school classes grades 9 through 12 being conducted upstairs and elementary classes held downstairs.
Zora Ellis Jr. High School was originally build as the first Talladega high School in 1924. The first graduating class was in 1928 with a total of 34 graduates and Mr. E.A. McBride serving as principal.
A new wing of the school that included a new library, science lab, fourteen additional classes and two new bathrooms was built in 1959.
In 1974, a new building was completed to house Talladega High School and the old building became known as Talladega Middle School. Talladega Middle School housed grades 6,7, and 8, with Mr. troy Griffin as their principal.
The old portion of Talladega Middle School was renovated in the summer of 1985. During that same year, the mayor of Talladega proclaimed a " Zora Ellis" day in honor of a beloved, retired Talladega High School English teacher. At that time, Talladega Middle School was renamed Zora Ellis Jr. High School and housed grades 7 and 8. Dixon Jr. High School, which was located across the street from Zora Ellis became Dixon Middle School and housed grade 6.
Zora Ellis Jr. High School continues to house grades 7 and 8 for the students of Talladega City School since 1985. Presently there thirty faculty and staff members including a principal, assistant principal, counselor, media specialist, secretary, and bookkeeper. The school enrollment is approximately 285. The campus includes a gymnasium, lunchroom, band room, stadium, special education cottage, baseball field and Harwell Auditorium.