The Richard W. Halle Award for Outstanding Middle Level Educator honors a junior high/middle level educator who has worked to promote understanding of the developmental needs and characteristics of young adolescents, especially in the English language arts. A “middle level educator” is defined as anyone who has worked to improve schools and schooling for the middle level—teacher, principal, college person, curriculum specialist, or supervisor—not necessarily a classroom teacher.
Established in 1996 by the Junior High/Middle School Assembly, this award honors Richard "Dick" Halle for his dedication to the Assembly and middle level education. The award became a Middle Level Section Award in February 2002 when the Assembly was dissolved.
The Middle Level Section Steering Committee determines the winner based upon each candidate meeting the following criteria:
- Encouraging a spirit of inquiry and development of critical and creative thinking within the profession;
- Showing evidence of exemplary professional involvement, participation in activities such as workshops, curriculum development, and association programs and projects;
- Connecting the classroom and the community;
- Fostering the development of literacy education at the middle level;
- Promoting research on the middle level student .
The award recipient is presented a plaque by the MLSSC Assistant Chair at the Middle Level Get-Together during the NCTE Annual Convention each year.
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