Retired Middle School Principal
Franklin Community School Corporation
1. Name the key responsibilities in your current role
As a retired principal, I view my role now as one of the mentor, educator, and "cheerleader'' for current and aspiring administrators or educators. I try to share my passion and excitement for working with middle school students. It was truly a joy to spend my career with the young adolescent. By serving as a mentor to current administrators and teachers, I feel I am sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years. I frequently take phone calls, answer emails, or offer presentations to educators. I find our current educators are hungry for strategies that work and they continually seek to find new ideas to reach the youth in their schools. I frequently recommend books, articles, or speakers after hearing what the educator needs. The role of an administrator or educator is a lonely job now with multiple challenges facing the educator every day and they need support to make sure our education system continues to thrive for ALL students.
2. Describe either your professional preparation, experience or achievements
I received my Bachelor of Education from Ball State University, my Masters of Education from Indiana University, my Principal training from Butler University EPPSP program, and my Ed Specialist from Butler University. I spend 25 years as the principal in the same building, which I consider a blessing. I have also served as the Indiana Middle Level Education President and Executive Secretary. As a member of the AMLE Board of Trustees, it was my privilege to have been elected President of this fantastic organization. One highlight of my career was being named the Indiana Principal of the Year and traveling to Washington, D.C to represent Indiana. A second equally important highlight was receiving the honor of the NMSA (now AMLE) Distinguished Educator. Those two honors truly changed the trajectory of my role in education; I felt a deep responsibility to share my knowledge and talents with others since I had been so blessed. I always told my staff that the awards belonged to them because they had done the hard work to change the culture in our building to a more positive and supportive culture.
3. Describe the biggest challenge you’re currently facing in middle level education
Currently, I am finding that educators do not feel connected and supported. With the tremendous challenges all educators face today, they are feeling under attach and they often do not feel supported by their administrators, colleagues, parents, or community. Our students are coming to school facing more challenges that one can imagine today. From mental health issues to violence to total lack of support from an adult, our students are bringing their issues to school and our educators are dealing with those issues on a daily basis.
4. Share what you do for fun when not in school
For fun, I LOVE to play with my two grandchildren! They are awesome and make my life so complete. I love traveling and frequently go to see my daughter or travel with my other daughter and her family. I love to read and still read educational books to share with others as well as my "read for fun" books. I have recently started water aerobics, which I truly love! I didn't know exercising could be so much fun!
5. Tell us why you are a member of AMLE
I became a member of AMLE because I wanted to connect with other middle school educators and I needed the professional development opportunities that were offered. The networking, connections, and life-long friendships have been a rich source of talented individuals to support me in my journey as an educator.