Distinguished Educator Award Winner
Dr. Robert Heaberlin
Dr. Robert Heaberlin, principal of Lee Middle School in Coweta County, Georgia is the 2012 recipient of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Distinguished Educator Award. The award, sponsored by Pearson, was presented to Heaberlin on November 9, 2012, by the AMLE Foundation at the 39th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Portland, Oregon.
"Dr. Bob," as he is affectionately known, is in his fortieth year in education, having served as a teacher at all levels, as a high school coach, and as a principal of elementary, middle, and high schools. He has been active in professional organizations, serving as president of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and president of the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals. He is a member of the Georgia Middle School Association and the NASSP No Child Left Behind Task Force, for which he met with the House and Senate Education Committees and members of the U.S. Department of Education. He has advocated for additional funding in Georgia for schools that adhere to the middle school concept.
Dr. Bob's vision for Lee Middle School is to ensure the academic success and positive social growth of each student and he encourages students to strive to exceed as scholars and citizens. He follows the principles for successful middle schools identified in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents to personalize the learning environment and focus on professional development.
In 2012, Lee Middle School was named a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. At the Lighthouse schools ceremony, Dr. John Lounsbury commented, "Lee Middle School is a model school. It represents the best of what a middle school should be."
Dr. Bob was named the 2012 National Association of Elementary School Principals' National Distinguished Middle School Principal of the Year and was the 2006 Outstanding Middle Level Georgia Educator, and received Georgia's 2008 Dr. John Lounsbury Award. In February, he was honored by the Georgia House of Representatives with a resolution honoring his accomplishments in education.
According to Carrie DeBilzan, a Lee Middle School teacher, "I can honestly say that his astounding leadership has changed the way in which I regard the teaching profession. His promotion of the middle school concept and his notion that all educators have a purpose in implementing change and modeling best practices in their fields of study convinced me that not only is he dedicated to his role as a principal, but is an inspiration to anyone who has ever had the privilege of working with him."
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