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Education Students take on local and national leadership positions

Education Students take on local and national leadership positions

By Alli Bates ’16

Katie Wolfe and Lexi Roberts, co-presidents of the Otterbein Collegiate Middle Level Association (OCMLA), are serving as co-presidents of the national Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA) for 2015-2017.  The honor comes with big responsibilities at a national level, but both Wolfe and Roberts are up to the task.

Their duties so far have included organizing two sessions for the CMLA’s professional partner organization, the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), at its 2015 National Conference in Columbus in October. They will do the same for the 2016 National Conference in Austin, TX.  Additionally, Otterbein will organize and host two national conferences for officers at university-level CMLA chapters in April 2016 and April 2017.

“The Association for Middle Level Educators (AMLE) is a global organization focused on providing guidance and support to teachers, principals, guidance counselors, etc. of young adolescent students.  The Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA) is specific group within AMLE that is dedicated to helping pre-service teachers who are currently earning undergraduate degrees in Education,” explained Roberts.

CMLA aims to provide its members with resources and ideas so that once they enter the workforce they feel more prepared when educating young adolescent students. Chapters provide services at individual universities.

“OCMLA is on Otterbein’s campus to provide resources, professional development, and a supportive community…for any college student who will experience interactions with young adolescents, especially those entering the field of education with the licensure to teach any grade 4-9,” said Roberts.

Every two years CMLA chooses a “National Chapter” to provide national officers, host the annual CMLA Spring Symposium and lead sessions at the annual AMLE conference. Otterbein was selected to be the National Chapter in the spring 2015.

“Our first duty as the National Chapter was to plan and conduct the CMLA Business meeting this past October at the AMLE conference in Columbus,” said Roberts. “Planning this session began in the summer of 2015, as we worked to fully develop our platform and vision for how to lead CMLA for the next two years with assistance from our advisors, Paul Wendel and Diane Ross, and the past OCMLA co-presidents, Cassidy Fisher and Hanna Wiley.”

Their platform for the next two years is Young Adolescent Identities and Relationships. At the CMLA business meeting, Roberts and Wolfe introduced their platform and vision to the other CMLA chapters with a presentation on Gender Identity and Sexuality in the Middle Grades with Associate Professor Dee Knoblauch from Otterbein’s Department of Education.

“Following the presentation, we asked for input and suggestions from other chapters about what they would like to explore during our Spring Symposium in April. Spring Symposium is a time for members of CMLA chapters across the nation to gather and collaborate while gaining professional development,” said Roberts.

Their chapter is currently planning for this spring’s conference and they are excited to announce that Alex Sanchez, author of So Hard to Say, will be speaking.

“As we continue planning for this spring and working towards providing this sense of community, we are learning how difficult it can be to work with a limited budget when our hopes are incredibly ambitious.   Part of this ambition includes wanting to make Spring Symposium as affordable as possible,” said Roberts.


Learn more about Otterbein’s Department of Education.