Hayward Receives Association for Middle Level Education 2013 Distinguished Educator Award

November 8, 2013

Minneapolis, MN – Michelle Owens Hayward, principal of McNair Middle School, Fayetteville, Arkansas, is the recipient of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) 2013 Distinguished Educator Award. The award, sponsored by Pearson, was presented to Hayward on November 7, 2013, by the AMLE Foundation at the 40th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hayward, an educator for more than 23 years, is an advocate for students; an instructional leader; and a champion of teaming, advisory, and other aspects of the middle school model. At the state level, Hayward serves as a board member and officer for the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Administrators and on the state’s professional licensure and ethics board. She has presented sessions at the state and national level and in 2009 was awarded the Arkansas Middle School Principal of the Year and NAESP’s National Distinguished Principal award.

Hayward’s vision for McNair Middle School is centered on developing a school culture of building relationships with students and being a positive force in the lives of students and their families. According to Kaitlin Gibbons, sixth grade teacher at McNair, “Mrs. Hayward presents a vision to her staff of high expectation while encouraging her teachers to not only imagine it, but understand it, follow it, and jump on board with her. Her fierce leadership is paired with a warm compassion for teachers; a combination that creates a feeling of family among her staff.”

She believes in shared leadership and fostering new leaders in the school community as a means to continue to improve the profession. Hayward focuses on professional development throughout the school year and provides tools for teachers on a monthly basis to make learning more rigorous and relevant, including the facilitation of a seamless transition to the Common Core State Standards. Additionally, she seeks innovative ways to teach students, including such practices as flipped classroom, Bring Your Own Device, and looping.

All members of the school community study the characteristics of successful middle schools identified in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents as part of the school’s commitment to excellence. In 2009, McNair Middle School was named a School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and re-designated in 2012.

According to Vicki Thomas, superintendent of Fayetteville Public Schools, “To say that Michelle is a gifted educator and accomplished leader is an understatement. Her entire focus is on creating an exemplary learning environment that challenges all students to be the best they can be. Each day Michelle models professionalism, integrity, and a passion to serve children.”


About the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
The Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) helps middle grades educators reach every student, grow professionally, and create great schools. www.amle.org www.amle.org/annual

About Pearson
Pearson has as its mission to work side-by-side with states, districts, teachers, students and parents to ensure that every child is prepared for college and career (NYSE: PSO). www.pearsoned.com

Media Contact
April Tibbles | AMLE | 800-528-6672 | atibbles@amle.org