Annual Conference for Middle Level Education

Nashville, TN • November 7–9, 2019

Patti Kinney

Expertise gained from a career spent in Oregon public education; extensive volunteer leadership service in multiple educational associations at the local, state and national level; and her experience as a member of the professional development department of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) enables Patti to share practical, realistic strategies with her audiences. She has keynoted and presented for state departments of education, affiliates of AMLE, NASSP and NAESP, and for individual schools and districts in 41 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and Australia. She believes that effective professional development focuses on developing reflective practitioners who possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to create a safe, caring, and positive school culture; improve student learning; and promote student academic success and personal development. Patti began her career as an elementary music specialist and then taught fifth and sixth grade in an elementary school. She later taught sixth and seventh grade at the middle level when her district made the transition to middle school in the mid-80s. During this time, she was also involved in professional development work for her district, taught a variety of instructional and management skills classes, and took a one-year sabbatical leave to teach in the education department of Southern Oregon University. As an assistant principal and later principal of Talent Middle School, she was highly involved in the process to transform this former 7-8 junior high school into a 6-8 middle school, and in 2000, the school was recognized as one of “100 highly successful middle schools” in a national research study sponsored by NASSP.

Mrs. Kinney is a past president of the Association for Middle Level Education and of the Oregon Middle Level Association. In 2007, she was awarded the Oregon Middle Level Association's first Distinguished Service Award that was also named in her honor. In 1996, she was named the Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year, in 2002 she was the Oregon Middle Level Principal of the year, and in 2003 she was selected as the Met-Life/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year. From 2007-2014, she served as associate director of middle level services for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) located in Virginia.

Patti has spoken, presented, and consulted on a variety of educational issues at the national and international level, on topics including leadership, school improvement, quality instruction, building a positive climate and culture, educating young adolescents, and more. She co-authored Middle School: A Place to Belong and Become (AMLE) and What Parents Need to Know About Common Core (Incentive Publications) with Laurie Barron; Voices of Experience: Perspectives from Middle Level Leaders (AMLE/NASSP) with Sue Swaim; The What, Why, and How of Student-Led Conferences (AMLE) with Jack Berckemeyer; and authored Fostering Student Accountability through Student-led Conferences (AMLE/NASSP). She earned her B.A. in elementary education and M.A. in outdoor education from Southern Oregon University and her administrative license from the University of Oregon.

Featured Sessions

Thursday - November 7, 2019
Middle School: A Place to Belong and Become
Strand - Creating a Culture that Makes a Difference

Co-presenter: Laurie Barron
Reduce down what's known about quality middle level education and two concepts rise to the top: belonging and becoming. Schools must be places where students feel they belong and are both respected and valued. They must also be places where students can become, where their academic and personal potential is recognized and nurtured. Two award-winning principals will share practical strategies they used to ensure their schools were a place where students could both belong and become.

Thursday - November 7, 2019
Leading Learning from the Middle
Strand - Principal and Teacher Leadership that Transforms

As school leaders, we aspire to be labeled courageous and collaborative. Research tells us that teachers are the number one factor in student success, but leadership is number two. But what knowledge, attitudes, and skills does it take to successfully lead learning at the middle level? In this session, we'll examine the indicators and practices that help school leaders move a school forward in a manner that is both academically challenging and developmentally appropriate.