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UGA College of Education professor receives highest middle school award

Gayle Andrews

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia College of Education professor Gayle Andrews, a national leader in middle school reform, recently was recognized for her work when the Association for Middle Level Education presented her with its highest honor.

Andrews, an associate professor in the middle school education program in the department of elementary and social studies education, received the John H. Lounsbury Award for Distinguished Service in early November. While not an annual award, the Lounsbury Award is presented only when an individual has demonstrated a level of service, scholarship, integrity and leadership in middle level education that warrants this special recognition.

Andrews is president of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and has served the profession extensively in many leadership roles for the AMLE, the Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, and the National Forum.

Her research focuses on strengthening middle grades education for adolescents, those children between the ages of 9 and 14, including studying improvement efforts in middle grades schools, the professional development of middle grades educators and the preparation of prospective middle grades teachers.

In 2000, she co-authored the book, Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century, which aimed to refine ideas contained in the Carnegie Corporation’s 1989 report, “Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century.” Focused on middle grades improvement, topics included centering curriculum on students’ interests and needs, connecting middle grades schooling to family and community contexts, and enhancing teacher preparation and professional learning.

The AMLE, formerly the National Middle School Association, is the premier association for middle level education. Its more than 30,000 members include principals, teachers, central office personnel, professors, college students, parents, community leaders and educational consultants around the world.

“Gayle has been especially effective in collaborating with others and communicating research in ways that make sense to practitioners. A sound, meticulous and productive scholar and researcher, Gayle’s publications are having an impact globally,” said Lounsbury, dean emeritus of Georgia College and one of the founders of the middle school movement.

Andrews, who received her doctorate in social foundations of education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joined the UGA faculty in 2001.


Note to editors: An image of Andrews is available for download at

Caption: Gayle Andrews, the recent recipient of the John H. Lounsbury Award for Distinguished Service in middle school education, works with a UGA student.