Dr. Jeanneine Jones to Receive National Award for Middle Level Education

For Immediate Release

Columbus, OH – Jeanneine Jones, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, NC, is the recipient of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) John H. Lounsbury Award for Distinguished Service in Middle Level Education. The highest honor offered by AMLE, the award was established to recognize individuals whose scholarship, service, leadership, and contributions to the theory and practice of the middle level education ideal have been extraordinary

“I am delighted for AMLE to bestow this honor on Dr. Jones,” said Stephanie Simpson, CEO of AMLE. “While her professional impact on the field of middle level education has spanned decades, her passion for middle grades students and positive influence on colleagues and students has shone just as brightly during that time. Fellow educators describe her as generous, supportive, thoughtful, encouraging, demanding, and warm, and I can attest to having seen those characteristics in action on numerous occasions.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The award will be presented at the 50th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education this November. Jones has been an active education advocate since beginning her career as a middle school teacher in 1975 at Woodland Middle School and then Western Middle School, both within the Alamance Burlington District in North Carolina. Her twelve years at Western Middle were especially impactful, and it was here that she learned early on the value of appropriate relationships with early adolescents and faculty colleagues. This school was one of the first schools built to house a full implementation of the middle school concept, and it went on to be selected as one of the four most successful middle schools in the United States, captured in Joan Lipsitz’ seminal work, Successful Schools for Young Adolescents. Since that time, her additions to the literature on middle level education have been many and diverse, and they feature lessons learned from those years of 8th grade teaching.  This includes the recent publication of her coauthored book, Teaching Well with Adolescent Learners. Other notable contributions have included playing a critical role in the 2022 Revised Middle Level Teacher Preparation Standards and serving as chair of the College Board’s ELA Pre-AP Curriculum Committee from 2014 to 2023.

Upon learning of her selection for the honor, Jones commented, “Middle school has been my life for 48 years, and I can’t imagine a day without it. The adolescents who taught me so much as 8th graders gave way to the middle school teachers whose journeys I shared in my UNC Charlotte courses, and their influence affirmed my calling to teach. I’ve been blessed with many strong mentors along the way, people who have helped me learn to be a middle school educator and advocate, one who would stand strong in the name of teachers and teenagers. Many of those mentors were AMLE leaders solid in their quest for strong schooling for young adolescents, and one of those early on was John Lounsbury.  He was everywhere, and he wore both his wisdom and his smile beautifully.  Receiving this award, named for this charming and selfless man, means more than words to me; it’s a career pinnacle I treasure.”

Jones has also been a pivotal force within AMLE’s state affiliate organization, the North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education (NCMLE), where she has served on the Board of Trustees and as a former editor of the NCMLE Journal. “Dr. Jeanneine Jones has been involved with NCMLE for more than 40 years” said Kimberly Lynch, NCMLE President, “Dr. Jones is one of the most passionate advocates for middle level education in our state. She inspires so many and truly believes in our mission, ‘to advocate for the middle school concept.’ NCMLE is so excited that Dr. Jones is being honored with this well-deserved recognition.”

Jones has previously received several awards, including the UNC Charlotte Distinguished Professor Award and C. Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service Award. “Dr. Jones is a tremendous asset to any organization she is involved with. AMLE and NCMLE have been blessed to have benefited from her infectious disposition as well as her leadership,” added Erin Scholes, AMLE Trustee and Chair of Lounsbury Award Committee.

About AMLE

AMLE is a professional organization more than 35,000 members strong dedicated to helping middle grades educators reach every student, grow professionally, and create great schools.