AMLE Board of Trustees

Jim Barnes, Chair, Ret. Principal, NJ
8 years a classroom teacher, 7 years as assistant principal at the High School/Middle Level, he is now the Principal of Chestnut Ridge Middle School in Sewell. He has proudly served on the New Jersey Assoc. for Middle Level Education Executive Board.
Contact Jim
Lisa Harrison, Vice Chair, Professor, OH
Lisa, formerly a middle school math teacher, is now an Assoc. Professor of Middle Childhood Ed and Middle Childhood Program Coordinator at Ohio University. She has published and presented in various outlets and is co-editor of Middle School Journal.
Contact Lisa
Angela Allen, Dir. Instructional Leadership
Angela is the Director of Instructional Leadership for secondary and alternative schools at Battle Ground Public Schools in Washington. She supervises 11 schools, 6 of which are middle schools. She was previously a teacher and asst. principal.
Contact Angela
Todd Brist, Principal, SD
Todd is Principal of Watertown Middle School in South Dakota, where he has also served as a leader on the SDAMLE board. Since attending an AMLE conference, Todd has become a convert to the middle level movement and presents locally and nationally.
Contact Todd
Todd Bloch, Teacher, MI
Todd is a 7th grade science teacher at Warren Woods Middle School in Michigan. He earned his master’s in middle level ed from Walden University in 2006 and has since worked to elevate the middle level. Todd started #mschat, a national twitter chat.
Contact Todd
Brian Bowman, Teacher, GA
Brian is an early career teacher who graduated from Georgia College. He is currently pursuing a specialist degree in school psychology. Brain presents nationally and is interested in minority teacher recruitment and mental health in schools.
Contact Brian
Chandra Diaz, Director of Middle Level Ed, NE
Chandra is the Director of Middle Level Ed at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She was a middle school educator for 12 years and was awarded Outstanding Math Teacher of the Year. She also belongs to NMLA and advises her local CMLA chapter.
Contact Chandra
Pam Millikan, Ret. Principal, IN
Pam is a retired principal from Franklin, IN. She has proudly served as a principal, asst. principal, and teacher. Pam has served terms as president of both AMLE and IMLEA and has presented nationally and internationally.
Contact Pam
Ken Nicely, Superintendent, VA
Ken is superintendent for Roanoke County Public Schools in Virginia. His district includes nearly 14,000 students and 27 schools. He previously served 10 years as principal and asst. principal at Hidden Valley Middle School.
Contact Ken
Steve Norlin-Weaver, Principal, Guatemala
Steve is Principal at the American School of Guatemala and was previously a teacher and asst. principal. He has been a leader of the Minnesota Middle School Association, including as its executive director. Steve presents locally and nationally.
Contact Steve
Erin Scholes, Teacher, CT
Erin is in her 14th year as a middle level educator and currently teaches 7th grade math at Somers Middle School. She also serves as 7th grade team leader and asst. director of the high school drama club. Erin recently received her ISTE certification.
Contact Erin
Christine Thielen, Teacher, IL
Christine, an educator for more than 15 years, currently teaches math at Lincoln Middle School in Park Ridge, IL. She also serves as an adjunct instructor of middle level education and has presented at AMLE and NCTM’s conferences.
Contact Christine

2021 Board of Trustees Election

Voting for the individuals who serve on the AMLE Board of Trustees is a privilege of School and Professional members. For the Fall 2021 election, members will vote for a slate of candidates at the Annual Business Meeting, which will be held online November 4 at 7:00 pm ET in conjunction with #AMLE21, the Annual Conference for Middle Level Education.

If you are not able to attend the meeting and wish to cast your vote, download and return the absentee ballot by email, fax, or postal mail to the AMLE office. To be counted in this year’s election, your ballot must be received by 11:59p Eastern Time, September 30, 2021.

Instagram _ Board Nominations Testimonials _ AMLE (1)

The following candidates have been recommended for election to the AMLE Board of Trustees by the AMLE Elections Committee:

Rachel GrahamRachel Graham – Illinois

Rachel Graham is the director of programs at the Lefkofsky Family Foundation based in Chicago, IL. In her role she oversees all of the Foundation’s education grantmaking focused on supporting middle level education. Through this work she runs the foundation’s middle grades support program, Success Bound, and supports systems change work. With her training as a school psychologist and current role as both a program implementer and funder, she would bring a unique set of experiences to the Board of Trustees.

Andrew MaxeyAndrew Maxey – Alabama

Dr. Andrew Maxey currently serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Tuscaloosa City Schools in Alabama. Prior to this position, Andrew served as Director of Middle School Education from 2015 – 2018 and Principal of Rock Quarry Middle School from 2011-2015. He has been a frequent contributor to AMLE Magazine and currently serves on the Affiliate Advisory Committee. In 2018, Andrew was a founding board member of the Alabama Association for Middle Level Education, an AMLE state affiliate organization, and currently serves as the immediate past president. He also serves on state-wide planning and advisory boards that provide professional supports for middle level educators.

Stephanie PattonStephanie Patton – Ohio

Stephanie Patton currently serves as a school leadership coach for Columbus City Schools. She provides coaching to 5 middle school principals and 4 middle school assistant principals and leadership interns. Prior to this position, Stephanie was the principal of an all-girls middle school focusing on equity, girl empowerment, and high academic standards. She has served as a middle school administrator for 14 years of her 18 years of school leadership. She has been a member of AMLE for years and has participated in AMLE Leadership Institutes. Most recently, she served as a committee member the designed the AMLE Schools of Distinction program.

Karen SwansonKaren Weller Swanson  – Colorado

Dr. Karen Weller Swanson currently serves as a middle school science teacher at Timberview Middle School in Colorado Springs. She has been a middle-grades advocate for 25 years and served in multiple capacities for AMLE, including on the Research Advisory Committee and as editor of Research in Middle Level Online journal. Dr. Swanson has been a frequent presenter at AMLE conferences, both as a middle school practitioner and editor of RMLE Online and as a middle school practitioner. Dr. Swanson represented AMLE at the US Department of Education, in the development of the Middle Grades Longitudinal Study, and at the 2015 Middle Grades Expert Meeting.

AMLE Staff

Stephanie Simpson
Chief Executive Officer

Katie Powell
Director for Middle Level Programs

Megan Mooney
Accounting Manager

Derek Neal
Chief Operating Officer

Marcia Meade-Hurst
Senior Member Center Specialist

Helen Polansky
Partnerships Manager

Dr. Lisa Harrison
Middle School Journal Co-Editor

Dr. Kathleen Brinegar
Middle School Journal Co-Editor

Dr. Ellis Hurd
Middle School Journal Co-Editor and CAEP Coordinator

Dr. David Virtue
Research in Middle Level Education Online Journal Editor