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In Memory of

Dr. John H. Lounsbury

Written by Dr. Nancy Mizelle, Georgia College

With the death of Dr. John H. Lounsbury on April 2, 2020, the world lost a treasure. Known internationally for his work in Middle Level Education, Dr. Lounsbury influences our lives daily -- in the ideals we hold for our profession; in the education we pursue for the young adolescents we love; and in our ongoing work and relationships as middle level educators and teacher educators.

Professionally, we will remember Dr. Lounsbury as a Legacy Leader and one of the five Founding Fathers of the Middle Level movement; as the “conscience of middle level education”; and as the vision and impetus for the National Association of Professors of Middle Level Education (NAPOMLE). We also will remember him as an editor and writer. During a more than 40-year association with NMSA (now AMLE), Dr. Lounsbury was instrumental in writing and editing, for example, the four editions of This We Believe (NMSA, 1980, 1995, 2003, 2010). He edited NMSA/AMLE - published books until he retired in his early 90s and he created an extensive and timeless body of his own publications with numerous articles, columns, speeches and position pieces.

At the same time, we have rich memories of Dr. Lounsbury personally. He was a valued colleague and dear, dear friend. He was a mentor and an advocate -- always quick to support and uplift. He looked for the good in people, even those with whom he did not agree, and worked to build relationships with all. Dr. Lounsbury saw no hierarchy among his acquaintances and would stop just as quickly to speak to a student as he would to the University President. He was a man of vision, but he never left it to others to enact his ideas. He would work beside you, helping until the project was accomplished.

Often, Dr. Lounsbury reminded us, as Middle Grades educators, that “We teach more by who we are than by what we teach.” (J. Lounsbury). The life that Dr. John H. Lounsbury lived and the lessons he taught are a gift as well as a challenge. We encourage you to get to know him, his life, and his legacy better and to continue to remember his family.

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