NASSP has announced the winners of its 2013 Dr. Ted Sizer Dissertation Competition. Dr. Ken Nicely won for the middle school competition.
Dr. Ken Nicely, winner of the middle level competition, is the director of secondary instruction and technology for Roanoke (VA) County Public Schools. His dissertation, Middle Level Schools in an Era of Standards and Accountability: Adaptations of the Features of the Middle School Concept, explored the development and testing of an innovation configuration map for the middle school concept implemented in the context of standards and accountability. The product of the process was the development of a diagnostic implementation of the middle level philosophy of education.
“Dr. Nicely’s study comes at an opportune time as many middle level schools are struggling to find a way to maintain the middle level concept in an era of standards and accountability,” said Patti Kinney, NASSP associate director of middle level services. “His creation of a diagnostic tool to aide in the identification of critical features of the middle level concept in today’s educational context should prove valuable to both researchers and practitioners.”
Prior to his appointment to his current position at the central office, Dr. Nicely was principal of Hidden Valley Middle School, A Virginia School to Watch which was recently redesignated.
Ken is a member of VMSA Board of Directors, and has graciously served on and been chair of site visit teams for Schools to Watch. Our congratulations to Dr. Nicely on his recognition from NASSP for a fine research study.
On April 4, 2013 the U.S. Department of Education held a session on Structuring Schools and Classrooms for Success in the Middle Grades; Practitioner and Student Experiences
This brownbag session covered topics on Young Adolescent Brain Development, Academic Mindsets, and Successful School Practices and explored the implications of that content for middle grades students and educators in the school-based setting. In addition, practitioners discussed how highlighted strategies impact and support student success, and the students explored what compels and motivates them to work hard and succeed.
Featured panelists included 3 Schools to Watch Schools:
(from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, VA)
- John Miller, Principal (John couldn't make it so Stephanie came)
- Norman Jones, student
(from Gainesville Middle School in Gainesville, VA)
- Tricia Harmon, SIGNET Gifted Education Department Chair
- Zaki Panjsherri, student
(from Mary G. Porter Traditional, a K-8 school, in Woodbridge, VA)
- Darci Whitehead, principal
- Hamza Mir, students
Then in the am the panel was called
Middle Grades Session Part I: Adolescent Brain Development, Academic Mindsets, and Successful School Practices
Juliana Paré-Blagoev , EdD -- Overview of the Early Adolescent Brain
Juliana Paré-Blagoev is the Assistant Director of the Strategic Education Research Partnership Institute (SERP).
Lisa Sorich Blackwell, Ph.D. -- Overview of Developing High-Level Non-Cognitive Skills, with a Focus on Academic Mindsets
Dr. Lisa Blackwell is Mindset Works’ Co-Founder and VP of Design, Implementation & Evaluation
Deborah Kasak, EdD -- Overview of Best Practices among High-Performing Middle Schools Deborah is the Executive Director for the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform Highlighted 2 more STW: Basalt Middle School and Woodbridge Middle School and their practices for developing student agency. Woodbridge is also an NASSP Breakthrough School.
Deb Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education in the US Department of Education, moderated the panel.
Pair of San Bernardino County Middle Schools Receive State Honor
Summit Intermediate in Rancho Cucamongo and Vanguard Prep in Apple Valley are among 12 middle schools to receive the Schools To Watch designation this year in California. These two schools are the first Schools to Watch in San Bernardino County. You can read more at http://www.sbsun.com/ci_22673121/schools-watch-california-commends-two-san-bernardino-county
Global Green USA reached out to the National Forum about its Green School Makeover Competition. Information regarding this opportunity can be found at globalgreen.org/greenschoolmakeover. The deadline for applying is March 31st, 2013.
High Desert School CA STW- on Rock Center with Brian Williams
High Desert School, a CA STW located in Acton-Aqua Dolce Unified School District, has become a Congressional Medal of Honor Character Development Program school. It is the first school in California to participate in this program and the program kickoff was held on September 20th and included participation by Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Major General Patrick Brady and Colonel Bruce Crandal.
Also attending were Lt. Colonel Gene Cummins of Edwards Air Force Base, William Anderson, U.S. Navy Retired, Pearl Harbor Survivor and several other military representatives. The United State Air Force Band and Color Guard joined with the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and L.A. County Fire Department to honor the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients with a parade and celebration at the school.
Alison O'Brien, Producer of NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams and MSNBC News Correspondent Mike Taibbi were present to record the special event for broadcast on Rock Center next week.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Character Development Program features lessons focued on the values of Integrity, Commitment, Coursge, Sacrifice, Patriotism, and Citizenship. These are blended with District values including Excellence, Respect, Integrity and Courage.
Dr. Howard, President-elect of The National Forum was invited as a special guest to participate in the parade, ceremony and activities. Watch Congressional Medal of Honor Program Video
Heaberlin to Receive Association for Middle Level Education
2012 Distinguished Educator Award
Westerville, OH – Dr. Robert Heaberlin, principal of Lee Middle School GA School to Watch, in Coweta County, Georgia is the 2012 recipient of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Distinguished Educator Award. The award, sponsored by Pearson, will be presented to Heaberlin on November 9, 2012, by the AMLE Foundation at the 39th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Portland, Oregon.
“Dr. Bob,” as he is affectionately known, is in his fortieth year in education, having served as a teacher at all levels, as a high school coach, and as a principal of elementary, middle, and high schools. He has been active in professional organizations, serving as president of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and president of the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals. He is a member of the Georgia Middle School Association and the NASSP No Child Left Behind Task Force, for which he met with the House and Senate Education Committees and members of the U.S. Department of Education. He has advocated for additional funding in Georgia for schools that adhere to the middle school concept.
Heaberlin’s vision for Lee Middle School is to ensure the academic success and positive social growth of each student, and he encourages students to strive to exceed as scholars and citizens. He follows the principles for successful middle schools identified in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents to personalize the learning environment and focus on professional development.
In 2012, Lee Middle School was named a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. At the Lighthouse schools ceremony, Dr. John Lounsbury commented, “Lee Middle School is a model school. It represents the best of what a middle school should be.”
Heaberlin was named this year’s National Association of Elementary School Principals’ National Distinguished Middle School Principal of the Year, the 2006 Outstanding Middle Level Georgia Educator, and received Georgia’s 2008 Dr. John Lounsbury Award. In February, he was honored by the Georgia House of Representatives with a resolution honoring his accomplishments in education.
According to Carrie DeBilzan, a Lee Middle School teacher, “I can honestly say that his astounding leadership has changed the way in which I regard the teaching profession. His promotion of the middle school concept and his notion that all educators have a purpose in implementing change and modeling best practices in their fields of study convinced me that not only is he dedicated to his role as a principal, but he is an inspiration to anyone who has ever had the privilege of working with him.”