McDonald to Receive 2017 National Educator of the Year Award
Assistant Superintendent Dr. David McDonald will be presented the National Educator of the Year Award at AMLE2017 in Philadelphia.
David McDonald, Ph.D., assistant superintendent for middle school leadership is the recipient of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) 2017 Educator of the Year Award. The award, supported by the AMLE Foundation Fund, recognizes outstanding practitioners in middle level education—those who have made a significant impact on the lives of young adolescents through exemplary characteristics, leadership, vision, and advocacy. The award will be presented in November 2017 at the 44th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
McDonald started his career as a high school teacher in Lancaster, South Carolina, before becoming assistant principal and principal at Indian Land Middle School, then principal at Northwest Middle School in Greenville. Under his leadership, schools saw gains in student achievement and realized numerous state and national awards and titles.
He is a board member for the South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education where he helped increase membership and oversaw the development of a strategic plan, and served as president of the organization for two years. In 2013 he was named Middle Level Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. McDonald is a member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform Board of Directors, and serves as co-chair and trainer for the South Carolina Schools to Watch program.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Winthrop University, a Master of Science in Education Administration degree from Concordia University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Over the years, McDonald has had opportunities to serve as a mentor to others in the field of education. He has recently worked with the South Carolina Priority Schools, which are the state’s lowest performing schools. In this capacity, McDonald meets with a group of school leaders from 14 schools one Saturday per month, as well as many times in between, to develop capacity to help teachers, raise student achievement, enhance offerings, and create growth.
Jeff Jenkins, principal of Ralph Chandler Middle School, Simpsonville, South Carolina said, “One of the greatest things I learned from Dr. McDonald is that advocacy and support of the middle level movement begins and ends with an understanding that we, as educators and leaders, must support the whole child. That we must be willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that students feel welcomed, cared for, and supported by the adults in the building.”
Student Council president and eighth grader, Christopher Hall said, “I have been able to work with Dr. David McDonald on various community service projects. He is always available to listen to our ideas and helps support us through our efforts in improving the school for the students. He is open to innovative ideas and focuses on what is best for the students at all times.”
According to Phillip Davie, assistant superintendent for school leadership at Greenville County Schools, “We are fortunate to have Dr. McDonald on our team in Greenville County Schools. His knowledge, support, and expertise in the area of middle level education have made and will continue to make a positive impact on our middle schools.”
About the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
The Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) helps middle grades educators reach every student, grow professionally, and create great schools. A membership association with more than 48,000 teachers, principals, counselors, and others as members, AMLE provides professional learning and networking opportunities to those who work with students ages 10-15.