School Coach; State Director, Schools to Watch
1. Name the key responsibilities in your current role
I am working with a school in California as their coach, helping them move the school in all ways toward higher levels of performance. In Georgia, I am in charge of the state STW program, managing schools currently designated and helping other schools reach that designation. I coordinate site visits, trainings, and mentoring efforts. I also work as a faculty member of the AMLE Leadership Institutes.
2. Describe either your professional preparation, experience or achievements
I have degrees in education and educational leadership. I have served as a middle grades teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and middle grades staff development coordinator for Georgia through a IVC grant, which turned schools from junior high schools to middle schools. In addition, I have served as Treasurer, President, and Executive Director of the Georgia Middle School Association, as well as on the Board of NMSA(now AMLE). I have been Chair of the Oversight Committee of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and currently serve as an Emeritus Director of the Fidelity Committee. I served as a school coach for a Federal i3 grant dealing with underperforming middle schools (in California) and continue that role outside the grant. I have been the recipient of the GAMSP John Lounsbury Award, the GMSA President’s Award (2x), the GMSA Linda Hopping Leadership Award, and the National Forum’s Distinguished Leadership Award. I currently serve on the faculty of the AMLE Leadership Institute.
3. Describe the biggest challenge you’re currently facing in middle level education
I feel the greatest challenge I face in the work I do is to have districts and schools understand the middle school program and why it is the most effective way to educate young adolescents. It is a constant struggle to keep our story germane to districts, state departments, etc who do not take into account the myriad needs of the young adolescent and programs that are most effective in reaching and teaching them.
4. Share what you do for fun when not in school
My leisure pursuits include daily exercise, golf, reading, and traveling.
5. Tell us why you are a member of AMLE
I have been a member of AMLE (NMSA) since 1975. The organization has grown during those years and has always remained true to the beliefs established at its inception and revised as research has shown us that what we espouse truly does provide the best approach to educating young adolescents. It is targeted toward middle grades practitioners and is the “go-to” place for professional development dedicated to those grades. I am very proud of my association and look forward to maintaining that in years to come.