Hopping to Receive Distinguished Service Award for Middle Level Education

Linda Hopping

For Immediate Release

July 7, 2021

Hopping to Receive Distinguished Service Award for Middle Level Education

Columbus, OH – AMLE is pleased to announce that Janet Melinda (Linda) Hopping, retired middle school principal and current faculty for AMLE’s Institute for Middle Level Leadership is the recipient of the AMLE Distinguished Service Award. The award was established to recognize outstanding service by an organization or an individual who makes a significant contribution to advancing the work of AMLE in reaching middle grades educators, schools, and young adolescents. It is only the eleventh time in AMLE’s history that the award has been bestowed.

For more than 55 years Hopping has been a passionate advocate for middle level education. She spent 33 years working in middle schools in Colorado and Georgia, as a teacher, curriculum coordinator, assistant principal, and principal where she impacted the lives of thousands of students and educators. Upon retiring as principal, Linda dedicated her time to advancing middle grades initiatives. She has served in a myriad of leadership roles, including AMLE Trustee, Co-Director of the Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch Program, Executive Director and President of the Georgia Middle School Association, faculty member of the AMLE Institute for Middle Level Leadership, and school coach for the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Hopping’s commitment to service is also reflected in the several works she has authored, including Middle School Programs That Work, and the Study Guide to The Successful Middle School: This We Believe. Most recently, she served as a member of AMLE’s Schools of Distinction Exploratory Committee.

“The AMLE Board is beyond excited to recognize Linda Hopping as an AMLE Distinguished Award recipient. Linda has dedicated many years of service to middle level education and to AMLE and is so deserving of this honor,” said Jim Barnes, Chair of the AMLE Board of Trustees. Among Hopping’s many contributions was serving as a “camp counselor” during AMLE’s 2020 Back to School Camp which helped educators grapple with the enormous challenging of schooling amid a pandemic. “Linda is always the first to volunteer for any challenge and has the humble heart of a servant. AMLE would not be the organization it is today without her quiet leadership,” said Stephanie Simpson, CEO of AMLE.

Linda’s philosophy of education was shaped by the founders of AMLE and the middle school movement, including her mentor and friend Dr. John H. Lounsbury. Said colleague Camille McElroy, “Linda readily accepted the challenge of leading the writing of the expansive application to become a Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch and served together with Dr. Lounsbury as co-state directors for nine years. After his retirement, Linda continued to work tirelessly directing all aspects of the program – including its expansion and serving on the training team which traveled across the country.” Speaker and former NMSA director Jack Berckemeyer added, “Linda has been a true leader and visionary in middle level education. Her passion and dedication to the association can only be measured by the vast number of schools she has supported.”

Hopping said of receiving the award, “NMSA, now AMLE have been my guiding light throughout my professional career and are a deep part of who I am professionally. I have been given so much by the association during my years working with it, and it has always held a very special place in my heart. I will treasure this recognition now and going forward.” The award will be presented in November 2021 at the 48th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Louisville, Kentucky.


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. A membership association of more than 35,000 members, AMLE provides professional learning and networking opportunities to those who work with students ages 10-15. www.amle.org & www.amle.org/annual

Media Contact

Stephanie Simpson | AMLE | 800-528-6672 | ssimpson@amle.org