Missouri Middle School Association

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How did this organization begin?

In February, 1976, it was observed that there were approximately 175 schools in the State of Missouri with various grade combinations of five through eight. It was felt that there was a need to exchange ideas, programs and curriculum innovation throughout the state in middle level education. A state association was a possible vehicle to accomplish this purpose. This would be an organization of all people interested in the middle school child and programs which would facilitate his/her growth.

On Saturday, April 3, 1976, twenty-three interested participants from throughout the state met in Columbia, Missouri to share ideas about middle school education. They agreed on the need for an association in our state. A steering committee was selected from volunteers and a constitution committee was formed. All 175 schools were informed of the outcome of the April meeting and were invited to attend a meeting on Thursday, June 17, 1976, to adopt our constitution. Thirty-one participants attended the June meeting. It was unanimously voted to request affirmation with the National Middle School Association.

A membership drive began in October of 1976. Our first state meeting was held on November 19, 1976, during the National Middle School Conference in St. Louis. Procedures for electing officers was established, and the dates of March 25 and 26, 1977, were selected for our first state conference. A planning committee for our conference and a nominating committee for our officers were appointed. In January, 1977, James Cockerell was elected treasurer, Grace Harmon, secretary, Addison Webber, vice president, and Thomas Moeller, president. Regions were determined and voting for representatives took place at the spring conference.

How is this Board organized?

An Executive Board is elected and appointed to conduct the ongoing activities of the Association. An Executive Secretary is appointed by the Executive Board to facilitate the growth and encourage membership in our organization and to maintain a line of communication between the organization and its membership. Officers are elected by the membership. These offices include that of President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer. The President-Elect's term is a three year commitment, first as President-Elect, then as President, followed by a year as Past President. The Secretary and Treasurer are elected for two year terms. A nominating committee presents a slate of candidates, by mail, to the membership and then voting takes place.

Eight Regional Representatives are elected to serve a two year term. These regions include Northwest, Northeast, Central West, Central, South Central, Southeast, Southwest, and St. Louis metro. Names may be submitted and voted on at the regional meetings held at the state conference.

Other Executive Board members include Past President, State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Representative, Conference Chairperson, the Transescent editor, Committee Chairpersons, Minority Issues Representative, University Representative, Scholarship and Publication Committee.

What is the regional structure?

Each Regional Representative is elected for a two year term on the Executive Board at the regional meeting held at the State Conference. The role of the Regional Representative is to assess the needs of the region relative to middle level education and to put in motion a plan to address those needs. Regional activities might include mini-conferences, workshops, or sharing forums. Each region receives a yearly budget to help support these efforts.

What is our purpose?

The purpose of MMSA is to serve as an advocacy group to recognize the middle level as a legitimate third level of education. Through the recognition of MMSA as an advisory group to the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, it is our intention to affect change in the middle level as it relates to state certification, teacher training, school organization, and effective programming.

What do we believe?

We believe that because of the unique changes that take place physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually during the transescent years, these young adolescents require educational programs designed to address those needs. We are committed to the task of sharing knowledge and expertise among the membership throughout the state and of creating workable programs to bring about successful middle schools.

Who belongs to MMSA?

The membership encompasses teachers, principals, assistant principals, superintendents, counselors, school board members, professors, graduated and undergraduate students, parents and individuals, all sharing a common interest-the education of early adolescents.

Our Mission

MMSA is dedicated to improving the educational experience of young adolescents by providing vision, knowledge and resources to all who serve them in order to develop healthy, productive and ethical citizens.

Our Vision

MMSA Believes that every young adolescent deserves access to the most effective middle level educational opportunities, designed to meet their social, physical, intellectual and emotional needs.

What kinds of service do we provide?

  • Serves as a clearinghouse for an exchange of ideas and materials for parents and educators.
  • Represents middle level students in professional and public discussions of educational issues.
  • Offers a top quality conference every year at reduced rates for members which address current issues in middle level education.
  • Provides workshops with reduced rates for members in the regions.
  • Encourages recognition of those who serve and promote middle level education through the Teaching Teams Award.
  • Provide four issues of the award winning journal The Transescent.
  • Gives members discount on NMSA publications.
  • Encourages youths to enter the middle level teaching field by awarding the Art Pfaff Scholarship.
  • Provides the membership with students and retirees.

How do I become a member?

To become a member in MMSA, just fill out the Membership Application and send it enclosed with a check or money order. Once your fee is received, you will begin receiving all of the MMSA publications and information.

For more information about MMSA contact:

Jane Haskell, Executive Secretary
Rolla Middle School
P.O. Box 487
Rolla, MO 65402-0847
Phone: (573) 364-9307 / (573) 364-2151
Email: [email protected]

Missouri Middle School Association
Fax and Phone: 573-364-9307
[email protected]