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Clarke Middle School principal elected to national position

November 10, 2017

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Last April, Clarke Middle School principal Tad MacMillan was elected to the National Association for Professional Development Schools' (NAPDS) board of directors by the organization's membership. MacMillan has been actively involved with professional development schools work at both the local and national level for the past seven years.

"I am honored to be selected to serve on the NAPDS Board," MacMillan said. "I am excited by the work of university-school partnerships, and I believe the best way to capitalize on those partnerships is to continue to learn from each other. K-12 schools can do so much more to fully leverage our partnerships with universities, and I look forward to our work together. It is an exciting time for professional development school partnerships."

MacMillan will serve a three-year term on the board as one of the P-12 leadership representatives. He has attended and presented at the last four national NAPDS conferences and plans to present at multiple sessions again in March at the conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

Clarke Middle became a professional development school school in 2011 with Dorothy White, associate professor in mathematics education, serving as the first professor-in-residence until 2013. The school's involvement has continued to grow and now includes professor-in-residence Amy Murphy (see story, above), five on-site courses, and more than 50 practicum students and student teachers from nine different programs hosted by mentor teachers.

"Our school culture is shaped by UGA—we believe that having more UGA students in the school gives our students a ready supply of academic role models, tutors, and interns," MacMillan said.

In addition to the deep level of involvement with the University of Georgia College of Education, faculty and students from UGA's College of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, and College of Arts and Sciences support the school's garden and agricultural education. MacMillan has also been an active member of the Camp DIVE (Discover, Inquire, Voice and Explore) leadership team and hosted the camp at Clarke Middle in 2016.

MacMillan has worked in the Clarke County School District for 30 years as a reading teacher, a language arts teacher, a social studies teacher, an instructional coach, and a principal at the elementary and middle school levels. According to MacMillan, the most rewarding part of his career has been the professional development school collaboration at Clarke Middle with professors and students from the University of Georgia.

"The professional development school makes me more aware of what research says and helps me think about where we're going as a school," he said. "The Professional Development School District has transformed my school."

Visit the NAPDS website for more information.