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Middle level teacher candidates present at national summit as grant winners

Middle grades education majors Margaret Jones (left) and Devynn Dunn (center) are pictured receiving a certificate for the CMLA Chapter Grant from Fran Salyers (right), chair of the AMLE Foundation Fund Committee.

Two Georgia Southern University undergraduate students joined middle level educators and pre-service teachers from across the country in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the annual conference of the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE), on Nov. 6-8. Prior to the conference, a Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA) Summit was held to provide an opportunity for teacher candidates from various chapters of the CMLA to network, learn and share.

Margaret Jones and Devynn Dunn, middle grades teacher candidates and CMLA co-presidents at Georgia Southern, attended both the summit and conference thanks to the CMLA Chapter Grant. This award from the AMLE Foundation provided funding for teacher candidates to attend the CMLA Summit and AMLE Conference and to present to their peers during the Summit. Jones and Dunn presented on the topic of co-teaching during the Summit and participated in a roundtable to publicize the Chapter Grant and other CMLA opportunities.

The CMLA is a professional education organization for college students preparing to become middle level teachers. An affiliate of the AMLE, CMLA encourages students to begin their careers with active participation in the national professional organization and interact with professionals in their field.

Jones and Dunn wrote the proposal for the CMLA Chapter Grant with support from the College of Education’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Teacher Education and Accreditation Deborah Thomas, Ph.D., and CMLA Faculty Advisor Amanda Wall, Ph.D.

The CMLA Summit and AMLE conference made lasting impacts on Dunn, a Dec. 2017 graduate, and current middle grades education major Jones.

“Getting the chance to attend the AMLE Conference in Philadelphia was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Jones said. “Not only were we fortunate enough to be selected as the 2017 CMLA chapter grant recipients and present at the CMLA Summit, but we had the chance to hear from other professionals who are doing amazing things in the world of education. Having the chance to collaborate with other college students that are also going into middle level education was so reassuring and encouraging.”

“The AMLE conference in Philadelphia was extremely informative on different ways to connect with my students as well as different ways I can incorporate different strategies into my classroom,” Dunn added. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to go and network with other teacher candidates from different colleges and universities. I enjoyed learning and growing as a teacher during this conference.”

For more information about the middle grades education programs at Georgia Southern University, visit


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