Patti Kinney

Associate Director of Middle Level Services

Patti Kinney is the Principal of the NASSP National Center for Middle Level Leadership. She has an extensive background of 33 years in public education, the last 17 spent as an administrator at Talent Middle School in southern Oregon. Patti served on the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Board of Directors for seven years and was president of the organization in 2005-06. She was the NASSP/MetLife National Middle Level Principal of the Year in 2003, Oregon Middle Level Principal of the Year 2002, and Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year 1996. In 2007 she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Oregon Middle Level Association.

Listen to a podcast interview with Patti

Patti is an accomplished speaker and has keynoted and presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences over the years. Topics she has developed as workshop sessions include leadership, literacy, student-led conferences, middle level best practices, school reform issues, building a positive school culture, school transformation, and many others. Information presented in these sessions is always based on best practices for middle level education as described in Breaking Ranks in the Middle™, Turning Points 2000, and This We Believe.

Areas of Expertise: Middle level philosophy, characteristics of young adolescents, school leadership and reform issues, student and staff recognition, looping and multi-age grouping, school climate, student-led conferences

Title: Courageous, Collaborative Leadership (keynote or breakout)
As principals, we all aspire to be labeled a courageous, collaborative leader. But what skills are necessary for one to become such a leader? Using the framework of leadership for curriculum, instruction, and assessment; leadership for developing a school culture; and leadership for developing and nurturing leaders, this session will examine the indicators and the practices that help administrators develop exemplary leadership skills. Appropriate for all audiences. Length: keynote 30–60 minutes; breakout 1–3 hours

Title: Leaving Your Mark (keynote only)
Every day, in every action, every school leader is building a legacy for the future. What type of legacy are you creating and what will people remember about you when you’re no longer at the school? Through the use of stories, anecdotes, and parables this presentation will challenge the audience to reflect upon the legacy they will be leaving behind. Appropriate for all audiences. Length: 30-60 minutes

Title: Rafting the White Water Years of Young Adolescence (keynote only)
Working at the middle level is a ride full of excitement. Using the analogy of white water rafting, we will examine how best to navigate and enjoy this thrilling, and sometimes turbulent time of life! For middle level leaders. Length: 30-60 minutes

Title: Breaking Ranks in the Middle Leadership Training
This training is targeted for middle level school leaders and educators. It aims to increase the leadership capacity of middle level leaders and their teams based on effective research-based recommendations that have proven to be successful. The training addresses a variety of issues confronting middle-level school leaders. The training provides participants with tools and strategies for creating systemic change and cornerstone strategies that participants can take away for use in their own local school/community setting. It also uses targeted professional development strategies as a tool for improving student performance and assists participants in the building relationships with colleagues that can serve as the basis for networking and supporting the Breaking Ranks in the Middle initiatives. Designed for middle level leaders. Length: 2-day facilitator training or 3-day train-the-trainer module

Title: Promoting a Positive Environment: Positive Recognition for Students and Staff
One of the new “3 R’s” is relationships — and positive recognition puts “money in the bank” when it comes to building relationships with the students and staff at your school. This session will focus on ways you can add pizzazz to your school environment by implementing a variety of positive activities to recognize those who work and learn there. Come prepared to learn new ideas as well as share some of your own! Appropriate for all audiences. Length: 60-90 minutes

Title: Implementing Student-Led Conferencing in Your School
Want to increase parent involvement and student accountability? Looking for authentic assessment methods that motivate students and provide them practice in self-evaluation? Wish your students could strengthen their skills in organization, leadership, and speaking? Then student-led conferencing is for you! The co-author of A Schoolwide Approach to Student-Led Conferencing will share how you can implement this effective practice in your school. Appropriate for all audiences. Length: 1-4 hours

Title: Middle Level Advocacy: No Longer an Option
In today's world of state budget deficits, rigorous learning standards, and high stakes testing, the very cornerstones of middle school are being questioned. Therefore, those of us who know and love middle level education must become active as advocates. Come ready to learn and discuss simple, proven ways to become an effective advocate for both your school and middle level education. Length: 45-75 minutes

Title: Creating a Culture of Literacy
This presentation highlights the reading and comprehension skills and strategies featured in Creating a Culture of Literacy: A Guide for Middle and High School Principals. It is designed to help school leaders use research on best literacy practices to create a well-defined intervention plan that not only will improve the literacy of all students but also the long-range academic success of students by enhancing their chances for postsecondary education and future employability. Appropriate for all audiences. Length: 45-60 minutes

For more information, contact Carolyn Glascock at or 703-860-7202.