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Discussion Series

New England League of Middle Schools are leaders in promoting middle level best practices by providing collaborative learning experiences that support students’ academic, social, and emotional growth and success. 

This year, in addition to our job alike series, the New England League of Middle Schools will be featuring a variety of remote learning opportunities entitled, “NELMS and the Middle Ages”. These topics are designed to address common issues, needs, and trends that all middle level educators encounter and are relevant for teachers, administrators, counselors, and anyone who works with young adolescents.  These sessions, featuring distinguished educators from across New England, are FREE to NELMS members. So, please join us for an hour of discussion and support. 

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Encouraging Necessary Faculty Conversations to Protect Your Students who are LGBTQIA+ 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

7:00 - 8:00 pm

While every middle level classroom has students who are LGBTQIA+, you may or may not know who exactly in your classroom holds that identity. That is entirely their (students’) choice and perfectly okay. These young adolescents are perhaps the most vulnerable students at your school. How will you initiate a conversation with fellow educators, administrators, teachers, and other support personnel to address your LGBTQIA+ population’s needs? Attend this session to learn how to start talking with faculty about your students who are LGBTQIA+, begin to adopt and enforce protection policies, and start and/or strengthen your school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club (GSA).  

This event is FREE to members of the New England League of Middle Schools. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact NELMS at

Presented by the following NELMS Board of Directors members:


Bill Ivey (he/any) is Middle School Dean and teaches Social Studies, Rock Band, U.S History, and World Music at Stoneleigh-Burnham School, a girls school for grades 7-12 in Western Massachusetts that works to foster a gender-inclusive culture. He also serves on the NELMS Board of Directors as an advisor for equity, inclusion, and social justice, and on the AMLE Equity in Middle Grades Education Committee.


Christie Beveridge (she/her) is a Program and Communications Director at UP for Learning, a Vermont-based educational non-profit focused on empowering youth and adults to make positive change in their school communities. She has worked in education for 18 years as a middle and high school English teacher, DEI coordinator, and program manager of a college women’s and gender center. She is passionate about supporting youth voice, and about making school a place where everyone feels that they belong. Christie also serves on the NELMS board.


Dave F. Brown, Ed. D. (he/him) is a fellow NELMS Board member, an educational researcher, and author. Dave conducts research with young adolescents and middle level teachers on a regular basis on issues such as what caring teachers do; what students want adults to know about being 10–15-years-old; and a recent study on what students who are LGBTQIA+ want teachers to do to protect them. Dr. Brown is currently writing a new book with a working title of Young Adolescents and the Middle Schools They Need due for publication in October of 2024.


Culture by Design -- It's a Mindset ... Not a Program

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

7:00 - 8:00 pm

Legendary management consultant Peter Drucker (1909-2005) famously said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Although he was focused on the business world, the wisdom applies to our schools. And even though most educators profess to agree with the sentiment expressed by Drucker, the daily pressures we face in our schools make it very easy for us to fall into the trap of prioritizing plans, schedules, and strategies over the quality of our cultures.  The problem, to quote former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, is that "the urgent keeps pushing aside the important."  This presentation explores the characteristics of quality cultures, as well as the barriers to them, offering specific examples and some paths to consider for educators seeking to enhance the cultures in their own schools. Particular emphasis will be placed on three specific components consistently found in schools, organizations, and communities with inspiring cultures.

This event is FREE to members of the New England League of Middle Schools. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact NELMS at

Presented by Malcolm Gauld, Executive Director, The Hyde Institute


For forty-five years spent in what he calls “the character ed lane,” Malcolm has served as a history teacher, coach of championship teams in four different sports, and administrator – with thirty of those years spent as President of the Hyde Schools organization. This work included the establishment of public Hyde models in DC, New Haven, New York, Orlando, and other cities. 

In 2018, Malcolm established the Hyde Institute, an entity committed to providing character-based opportunities to school communities across the country. The Institute’s first offering, the Discovery Process, is an online social & emotional learning (SEL) program designed to help schools create and maintain a dynamic and inspiring culture.  The program launched in 2022 with a dozen schools in five states. 

Malcolm’s most recent book – Culture by Design – The Discovery Process as a New Way for Schools (Roman Littlefield, 2023) – presents a detailed explanation of the philosophy and mechanics of the Discovery Process.  Malcolm is also the author of two books on college readiness.  College Success Guaranteed - 5 Rules to Make It Happen (Rowman, Littlefield - 2011) is a guide for beginning college students. A sequel, College Success Guaranteed 2.0 – 5 Rules for Parents (2014) is a resource for their parents.  A national expert on character education, he has had articles published in Education Week, The Huffington Post, and the Portland Press Herald. His blog, Thoughts on Character – -- presents over 700 posts on education, current events, and popular culture. 

A lifelong athlete, he continues to play basketball, Grand Masters lacrosse (He also founded and managed the Bowdoin College alumni lacrosse team that played many national tournaments from 2002 to 2010), and has completed several running marathons. An avid water man, he has completed Sea Paddle NYC, a stand-up paddle circumnavigation of Manhattan for the cause of autism research. He is passionate about popular music and blues harmonica. He has been married to Laura Denton Gauld, Hyde’s current President & CEO, for 43 years.  They have three grown children: Mahalia, Scout, and Harrison.

Malcolm recently appeared on Maine 207, a nightly news magazine on Portland's NBC affiliate talking briefly about what he will expand during this event. Click here to watch the video.

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