A Brief History of the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association

By Barzal, Annette; Hall, Joan et al. | Science Scope, November 2011 | Go to article overview

A Brief History of the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association


Barzal, Annette, Hall, Joan, Knipp, Rebecca, "Becky", Swami, Rajeev, Science Scope


In the summer of 1989, the idea of a special organization for middle-level science teachers was conceived by teachers attending the Woodrow Wilson Institute of Physical Science at Princeton University. Dale Rosene, then NSTA Middle Level Division Director, was also attending the institute. Rosene had received letters from teachers all over the country attesting to the need for a special organization for middle-level science teachers. He then shared the teachers' request with incoming Middle Level Division Director, Joan Hall. In 1990, Hall asked NSTA for authorization to form an organization to give better representation to middle-level science teachers. At the NSTA summer board meeting that year, the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association (NMLSTA) became an official organization representing middle school teachers of North America. At the 1990 winter board meeting, NSTA President Bonnie Brunkhorst gave her full support to incorporate NMLSTA, and became one of the first members of the fledgling NMLSTA.

NMLSTA became a reality at the 1991 NSTA National Convention in Houston, Texas, when 500 people joined. In 1991, at its inaugural meeting, Dale Rosene (Michigan), was elected founding president; Linda Maier (Ohio), president-elect; Joan Gallagher-Corey (Vermont), secretary; and Curt Johnson (Ohio), treasurer. Mark Koker (California), Mary Jane Schott (Texas), Faye McCollum (Georgia), Faimon Roberts (Louisiana), Frank Holmes (Oregon), Debra Schultz (Washington), and Joan Hall (Ohio) were directors. Bob Edmonson (Hawaii), Mick Korba (Rhode Island), Charlene Coates (Michigan), and Dennis Fitzgerald (Michigan) rounded out the committee's responsibilities. Mary Harris (Missouri) stepped up to be editor of Level Line, the NMLSTA newsletter. NMLSTA was on its way to becoming an integral part of science education and NSTA. Frank Holmes organized the poster sessions and research studies group.

Since NMLSTA's founding, hundreds of middle-level science teachers have volunteered their time and served in leadership positions as officers, committee chairs, and members. Over the years, thousands of members have shared their unique lessons, activities, and experiences through poster sessions, share-a-thons, presentations, workshops, Science Scope articles, Level Line articles, and social activities. Through this energy, commitment, and enthusiasm, NMLSTA has become successful in serving the needs of middle-level science teachers.

Special thanks to the NMLSTA presidents for their time and effort:

1991 Dale Rosene (Michigan)

1992 Linda Maier (Ohio)

1993 John Jaeschke (Wisconsin)

1994 Faimon Roberts (Lousiana)

1995 Joanne Gallagher-Corey (Vermont)

1996 Joan Hall (Ohio)

1997 Hector Ibarra (Iowa)

1998 Linda Froschauer (Connecticut)

1999 Karen Mesmer (Wisconsin)

2000 Mike Mansour (Michigan)

2001 Anne Holbrook (Washington, DC)

2002 Dwight Sieggreen (Michigan)

2003 Jodie Harnden (Oregon)

2004 Claudia Toback (New York)

2005 Heidi Capraro (Mighigan)

2006 Carla Johnson (Utah)

2007 Annette Barzal (Ohio)

2008 Dale Rosene (Michigan)

2009 Rebecca (Becky) Knipp (Indiana)

2010-12 Rajeev Swami (Ohio)

To better serve its membership, NMLSTA recently changed its bylaws to have the president serve a two-year term. Rajeev Swami is currently serving as president, and Patty McGinnis will be the next president, starting in 2013.

Many companies and industries close to educators have supported NMLSTA's mission. Those that have helped as sponsors and friends include the American Chemistry Council, Carolina Biological Supply, Delta Education, Earthwatch Institute, Frey Scientific, Intel,

Lawrence Hall of Science, NASA, OHAUS, PASCO, Pitsco Education, Premier Science, Prentice Hall, Qwizdom, School Specialty, Showboard, SteckVaughn, Virtual Link, Weekly Reader, and Women in Mining. …

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