Laurie Barron

Laurie Barron

Evergreen School District
Kalispell, Montana

1. Name the key responsibilities in your current role
I am the superintendent of a small K-8 district in beautiful northwest Montana near Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. Our administrators, teachers, and staff wear many hats. In addition to my role as superintendent, some of my other responsibilities include supervising and coaching our other five administrators, helping prepare our district budget, working with policy, assisting with curriculum, instruction, and assessment, performing human resources functions, and assisting with district communication.

2. Describe either your professional prepa ration , experience or achievements
I earned my BSEd in English Education (University of Georgia), my MEd in Administration and Supervision, and my EdS and EdD in Educational Leadership. I was honored to be the 2012 Georgia Middle School Principal of the Year and the 2013 NASSP National Middle School Principal of the Year. One of the most meaningful professional experiences I’ve had was participating in the TED Conference as part of the TEDEd team in 2017. was also a 2018 national finalist for the AASA Women in School Leadership Award.

3. Describe the biggest challenge you’re currently facing in middle level education
Meeting the needs of students impacted by trauma and of students with mental health needs is a growing challenge. Too many of our students come to us with experiences no young person should have to face: family substance abuse, emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse, neglect, mental illness, and broken families that are not able to meet the basic needs of our students. And while our professional staff works diligently to meet the needs of all students, we need more resources to meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners.

4. Share what you do for fun when not in school
After vacationing in Glacier National Park for many years, five years ago our family followed a dream and moved from Georgia to Montana. We spend our personal time in the summer doing lots of hiking in Glacier National Park, camping, floating the Flathead River and doing a little fishing, and doing a little biking and kayaking. In the spring and fall, we spend a lot of time following our teenage daugther around to watch her play lots of soccer. And in the winter, you’ll find us skiing Whitefish Mountain Resort every weekend. We are truly living the dream.

5. Tell us why you are a member of AMLE
AMLE supports middle level educators who support middle level students. I have been a member of AMLE for many years and have attended every conference since 2011. The support I find in meeting and working with other like minded middle level educators gives me hope and courage to continue the daily work we do that is so important for our students’ overall success. AMLE inspires me to work to be a better educator.