AMLE Foundation Fund

The AMLE Foundation Fund provides a means through which tax-deductible gifts can be made that support programs benefiting practitioners, schools, universities, and students in middle level education.

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The Foundation Fund sponsors the following award and grants:

The fund has been used to award $1,000 "This We Believe" grants to educators implementing programs that follow the best practices of middle grades schools as identified in the This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents. The fund also supports the Legacy Project, a project to identify and describe the factors that led to the development, evolution, and progress of contemporary middle level education.

Contributions to the Foundation Fund qualify as gifts, deductible on the donor's income tax returns. The Foundation is an "endowed fund" with the principal being retained and the income being expended for programs benefiting those in middle level education.

Legacy Circle

The AMLE Foundation Legacy Circle was created by the Foundation Fund Committee to honor permanently those middle level educators who have had a major impact on the lives of young adolescents. Anyone may nominate a candidate for this honor. After the candidate is vetted by the Legacy Circle Committee, the candidate will be inducted into the Legacy Circle when a total of $5,000 has been donated to the Foundation in honor or memory of the nominee.

The 2015 Inductees into the Legacy Circle

The 2014 inductees into the Legacy Circle are the five founders of the Middle Level Movement:

Recent nominations to the Legacy Circle:

You may contribute to the Legacy Circle for inducting the above nominees by making a donation to the Foundation Fund in any amount in their honor or memory. They will be eligible when donations in each of their separate names reach $5,000.

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John H. Lounsbury
Throughout his long and distinguished career, John H. Lounsbury has been a constant, committed advocate for young adolescents as well as for those who teach and serve them in other ways. His leadership in middle level education spans a period of more than 60 years and includes exemplary teaching, mentoring, leadership, writing, editing, research, and professional service. He has significantly influenced the nature of contemporary middle level education. Because of his special contributions, values, and integrity, he has been referred to as the "conscience of the middle school."

  • Edited the Middle School Journal (1976-1990)
  • Chair of NMSA's Publications Committee (1985-2002) and Editor, Professional Publications (2002-present)
  • Co-author of This We Believe
  • Founder of the Professors of Middle Level Education, an affiliate organization of NMSA.
  • Board of Directors, ASCD
  • Co-Director of the Georgia Lighthouse Schools-to-Watch Program
  • First recipient of an Award for Distinguished Service to Middle Level Education which became the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award (1978)
  • Georgia State College and State University named the school of education the John H. Lounsbury School of Education (1997)
  • Cited in the Congressional Record for his contributions to the field of middle level education

Middle level education is forever indebted to John H. Lounsbury for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

William M. Alexander
Because of his pioneering work in the conceptualization and establishment of the middle school, Dr. William (Bill) M. Alexander is widely recognized as the "father of the middle school." He proposed the creation of middle schools in 1963 and conducted the first comprehensive national study of middle schools in 1968. Dr. Alexander's visionary research effort provided the baseline for subsequent studies of the implementation of middle school organization that provided a critical measure of the growth and implementation of programs and practices in middle schools over four decades.

  • Senior author of one of the first books on middle school education
  • World-renowned curriculum expert
  • Co-authored The Emergent Middle School (1968)
  • Co-authored The Exemplary Middle School (1981)
  • Recipient of the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (1981)
  • Helped develop the first This We Believe
  • President, ASCD
  • Member of NMSA's Critical Issues and Publications Committees

Middle level education is forever indebted to William M. Alexander for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

Donald H. Eichhorn
Donald H. Eichhorn provided a distinctive leadership role in the middle school movement. He was a pioneer in the implementation of developmentally responsive middle schools in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, where he spent the first 26 years of his career. While serving as Assistant Superintendent, he worked with the principals of Fort Couch Middle School and Boyce Middle School to create middle schools that were multi-aged, with young adolescents grouped for instruction based on developmental readiness. These two middle schools served as early models for other school districts that were planning to create new middle schools.  In his 1966 book The Middle School, the first middle school book written, he used the term transescence, which he had coined, to give an identity to this level or stage of development which begins prior to the onset of puberty and extends through the early stages of adolescence.  A theme that always ran through his publications, professional presentations, and consultancies was the uniqueness of the age group and the need to base decisions about middle school curriculum, instruction, and schooling on that uniqueness.

  • Provided distinctive leadership in the middle school movement
  • Helped develop middle schools to serve as early models for others planning to implement middle school.
  • Superintendent of the Lewisburg Area School District, Lewisburg, PA
  • Author of The Middle School, the first middle school book written (1966)
  • Recipient of the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award (1983)
  • NMSA dedicated its 1991 Annual Conference to him
  • PMSA established the Donald H. Eichhorn Award for Excellence in middle level education in his honor
  • Lewisburg, Pennsylvania School District named an award-winning middle school in his honor, the Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School

Middle level education is forever indebted to Donald H. Eichhorn for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

Conrad F. Toepfer, Jr.
The contributions that Conrad F. Toepfer, Jr. has made to middle level education are manifold and profound. He is a distinguished scholar, visionary educator, and long-time proponent of middle level programs, practices, and schools that recognize and respect the rights and educational welfare of young adolescents.  He is a staunch advocate of social justice, children's rights, and all aspects of authentic middle level curriculum reform. Since the inception of the middle school idea, Toepfer has been a powerful voice for human rights and the need to help young adolescents develop enduring positive attitudes about themselves and others. Human rights, equity, and democracy are themes that prevail throughout Dr. Toepfer's life and career. He believes that one of the most important central challenges to middle level education is educating moral citizens who can responsibly participate in a democratic society.

  • Recipient of the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (1985)
  • Instrumental in the founding of NMSA
  • President of NMSA (1987-88)
  • Chairman of the Middle Level Council of NASSP
  • Edited the Quarterly Journal The Journal on Emerging Adolescents
  • Edited the Journal Dissemination on the Middle Grades
  • Recipient of the William Gruhn-Forrest Long Award for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (1986)
  • Influential leader in New York State Middle School Association
  • Recipient of the Louis E. Raths Award from the New York Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Middle level education is forever indebted to Conrad F. Toepfer, Jr. for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

Gordon F. Vars
Gordon F. Vars was a lifelong middle level education leader and friend of the Association for Middle Level Education.  He helped form the Midwest Middle School Association, which later became National Middle School Association (now AMLE), and served as its first president. He was a leading proponent of core curriculum, a person-centered, democratic approach to education, and helped form the National Association for Core Curriculum. Dr. Vars was on the writing team for the first edition of This We Believe, published in 1982, and he helped draft the first national standards for middle level teacher preparation. Of great importance to Dr. Vars was keeping in contact with young adolescents throughout his career. He originally taught eighth grade, but continued to teach in the middle school through his university career and in Sunday school classes. He was a prolific author of articles, books, and chapters and won several state and national awards.

  • Involved in the creation of the Midwest Middle School Association and in its later conversion in 1973 into the National Middle School Association
  • First President of National Middle School Association
  • One of the authors of the first edition of This We Believe
  • Recipient of the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (1987)
  • A member of the Professional Preparation Advisory Board that wrote the first national standards for middle level teacher preparation
  • Recipient of the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (1987)
  • Played a significant role in the founding of the National Association for Core Curriculum 1954
  • Recipient of the Ohio Middle School Educator Award which in 2001 was named in his honor.
  • Author of many middle level articles, research reports and books

Middle level education is forever indebted to Gordon F. Vars for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

C. Kenneth "Ken" McEwin
Dr. C. Kenneth McEwin is recognized as the leading authority in middle level teacher preparation.  He has conducted many research studies on teacher preparation and written extensively about the importance of specialized professional preparation for teachers of young adolescents.  For more than 20 years he has served as the Association for Middle Level Education (previously National Middle School Association) coordinator for the national review of middle level teacher preparation programs seeking national recognition as part of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accreditation process.  McEwin provided leadership for the development of specialized middle level teacher preparation programs at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, and in 1975 the undergraduate and graduate programs there were among the first middle level preparation programs in the nation.  Dr. McEwin served as the coordinator for undergraduate and graduate middle grades education at Appalachian State University for 22 years.  He is currently (2011) Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Coordinator of Graduate Middle Grades Teacher Preparation at Appalachian State University.
McEwin’s abiding hallmark has been his persisting concern about “what is good for kids and improving life and education for young adolescents.”  His honest humility about the lasting impact of his work is respected.

  • A founder of the North Carolina Middle School Association (NCMSA) (1981).
  • First Executive Director of NCMSA.
  • First editor of NCMSA Journal.
  • President of NMSA (1983).
  • Received the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (1989).
  • Member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Committee that wrote the first Early Adolescence Generalist Standards\Member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform (1997-2008).
  • Member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals National Task Force on Middle Level Leadership (2005-2008).
  • Presented at many professional organization conferences including the Association for Middle Level Education, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the European League for Middle Level Education.

Middle level education is forever indebted to C. Kenneth McEwin for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

Kathy Hunt-Ullock
Kathy Hunt Ullock has been involved in middle level education since 1973 as a math teacher, team leader, curriculum coordinator, assistant principal, director of staff development, and a consultant based in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Washington State.  She was a true BELIEVER in middle level education.  She was a champion of teachers and administrators on their paths to becoming great middle grades professionals with her support and inspiration.  Kathy Hunt Ullock will be greatly missed by her friends at AMLE.

  • Member of a ten person team to plan the philosophy, program, and physical plant of an exemplary middle school in Broomfield, Colorado (1982).
  • Member of a six person team from the United States to present at the first European conference on middle level education held in Brussels, Belgium in 1987. Kathy made a return visit in 2001 to keynote the same conference held in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Consulted for the National Resource Center for Middle Grades Education at the University of South Florida in Tampa. A result of this affiliation led to her assisting the American Department of Defense schools in Germany and England with their conversion to middle school philosophy, programs, and practices.
  • Received "The Award of Distinction' 'from the College of Education at The Ohio State University for her work with middle level students and teachers (1997).
  • Well known for her humor and practical “hands-on” approach, Kathy has presented at schools and conferences in 48 states and 16 foreign countries.
  • President and founder of Creative Solutions, which specializes in innovative programs and practices at the middle level.
  • Featured presenter on teaming in two CDs published by AMLE (NMSA).
  • Coauthored two books, Because You Teach and Middle School Matters with Debbie Silver, Rick Wormeli, and Monte Selby.

Middle level education is forever indebted to Kathy Hunt Ullock for her leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

Alfred A. Arth
Dr. Alfred A. Arth has carried the message of the importance of developmentally responsive middle schools to a wide range of audiences since the beginning of the middle school movement.  Arth was a prolific speaker and author, having published more than 100 books and articles. He taught in teacher preparation programs at York College, the University of Wyoming, the University of Virginia, and the University of Nebraska. In Nebraska, Arth developed one of the first doctoral level middle school programs, organized summer middle level academies (Kids on Campus), and instituted many other special activities. He was a support and inspiration to many aspiring teachers on their paths to becoming great middle grades teachers.  Dr. Arth will be greatly missed by his friends at AMLE.

  • Chaired the committee that wrote the first edition of the NMSA publication This We Believe (1982).
  • A founding member of NASSP’s Middle Level Council ( 1981-1995).
  • Received the Distinguished Professional |Service |Award, NASSP (1981-1995).
  • NMSA Board of Trustee member (1988-89), chaired a national committee for NMSA (1988), member of the Research in Middle Level Education Editorial Board, NMSA.
  • Received the NASSP Gruhn-Long-Melton Award for distinguished service and leadership in improving middle level education (1997).
  • Co-authored Agenda for Excellence at the Middle Level for NASSP (1998).
  • Received the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (2007).
  • Received the Network Publication Award:  Middle Grades Network, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (2007).
  • Consultant to Native American tribes in Nebraska.

Middle level education is forever indebted to Alfred A. Arth for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

John Swaim
While Dr. John H. Swaim was president of National Middle School Association (NMSA) in 1980, he realized the need for having a comprehensive clarifying document that defined this new middle school.  He, therefore, appointed an NMSA committee to develop a position paper.  The work of this committee led to publication of the first This We Believe in 1982.  This historic and influential document has since been revised and released in 1995, 2003, and 2010.  Swaim was also a pioneer in the advocacy for specialized middle level teacher preparation and middle level teacher certification/licensure. The middle level teacher preparation program he developed at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley (UNC-G), was one of the first middle level teacher preparation programs in the nation and served as a model for many other early preparation programs.  During his tenure as professor at UNC-G, Dr. Swaim provided leadership for establishment of the first campus organization for prospective middle level teachers.  This lead to the development of the Collegiate Middle Level Association, which became an affiliate member of NMSA in 1989. He also served on the NMSA task force that wrote the first national standards for middle level teacher preparation – The National Middle School Association/National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Approved Middle Level Teacher Preparation Standards. As a professor at Otterbein College in Ohio, he helped design and implement successful middle level teacher preparation programs and provided leadership in the establishment of middle level teacher certification in the state of Ohio before his retirement in 2007.  Swaim’s strong commitment to middle level youth and those adults who work to guide and teach them have impacted the lives of thousands.

Sue Swaim
During her 14 years of service (1993-2007) as executive director of National Middle School Association (NMSA), Sue Swaim provided distinguished leadership that saw the association gain new heights of national and international prominence and influence.  Her tenure was highlighted by many notable events and achievements including the establishment of a satellite office in Washington, D.C., the initiation and continued celebration of October as the Month of the Young Adolescent, and the establishment of collaborative relationships and joint projects with other national organizations.  She also provided leadership for the relocation and expansion in facilities and personnel of NMSA’s headquarters, a doubling of membership, and the development of Success in the Middle:  A Policymaker’s Guide to Achieving Quality Middle Level Education, a major policy statement based on This We Believe.  Swaim instituted the development of the second and third editions of This We Believe and was one of the writers in the development of the third and fourth editions.  During her tenure as executive director of NMSA, the number of state and provincial affiliate organizations expanded to include nearly every state, Canadian provinces, and several other countries.  Upon her retirement, the NMSA Board of Trustees recognized her contributions by granting her the status of executive director emeritus. Ms. Swaim is a popular speaker who has made keynote addresses and presentations across the nation and in Canada, China, and New Zealand.  She is the author or co-author of more than 70 professional publications and a sought after consultant who remains active in middle level education.  Sue Swaim is a great role model and mentor for showing how well the middle school philosophy can be put into practice.

Thomas "Tom" O. Erb
As editor of the Middle School Journal from 1994 to 2009, Dr. Thomas Erb took National Middle School Association’s (NMSA) flagship publication through expansion and improvement. He is also author and co-author of more than 90 professional publications including journal articles, book chapters, books, research reports, monographs, occasional papers, and columns. Much of his published work focuses on middle level teacher preparation, interdisciplinary teaming, and middle school curriculum. He has also presented at several hundred national and international conferences and served as consultant to more than 200 school districts, higher education institutions, policy-making groups, agencies, and other groups. A scholar, researcher, writer, philosopher, advocate, curriculum specialist, administrator and foremost, a teacher, Tom Erb’s dedicated service to middle school education and the NMSA has been both extensive and significant. Dr. Erb will be greatly missed by his friends at AMLE.

  • Member of the NMSA Board of Directors (1983 – 1986), Ex-Officio member of the NMSA Publications Committee (1994 – 2009)
  • Editor, The Journal of the Kansas Association for Middle Level Education (1987 – 1994)
  • Chair of the NMSA Professional Preparation Advisory Board (1990-1994)
  • Edited The NMSA Founders Series for the Middle School Journal (1990 – 1994)
  • NMSA Manuscript Review Board for Research in Middle Level Education Online (1991 – 2011)
  • Honored by having KAMLE establish the Thomas O. Erb Award for Excellence in Teaming (1993)
  • Received the John Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award from NMSA (2008)
  • Member of the AMLE Foundation Fund Committee (2013 - 2015)

Middle level education is forever indebted to Thomas O. Erb for his leadership and lifelong efforts on behalf of young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.

Committee

The AMLE Foundation Fund Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Trustees.


Fran Salyers, Chair

Charlene Pike, Vice-Chair

Betty Dore, Secretary

Bruce Bailey, ex-officio

Ed Brazee

Vicki Denmark

Deb Kasak

John Lounsbury, ex-officio

Camille McElroy

Ken McEwin

Pam Millikan, ex-officio

Nancy Mizelle

Peter Murphy

Kathy Shewey

John Swaim

Will Waidelich, ex-officio