The darkened ballroom at the Baltimore Convention Center grew quiet as Howard Johnston stepped to the podium to announce the name of the 2010 John Lounsbury Award honoree. It is NMSA’s highest award and is described on their website in these words, “… given only when an individual has demonstrated a level of service, integrity, and leadership in middle level education that warrants this special recognition”.
Twenty or more people with Maine connections were sitting in the front rows and they all shared a secret. They knew who the honoree was, and they also knew the honoree didn’t have a clue his name was about to be announced.
Dr. Johnston described the award and stepped aside as Dr. John Lounsbury appeared on the big screens via video to announce the name of the 2010 honoree–Dr. Edward Brazee. The Maine crowd burst to their feet with applause as Ed in his usual modest way made his way to the podium.
Ed has influenced middle level education in Maine and across the nation in multiple ways: courses, founding member of MAMLE, originator of the MAMLE Annual Conference, director of the Middle Level Education Institute, member and/or chair of two state Middle Level Commissions, and author of numerous articles for in-state and national publications. He is also an author of several books related to middle level education, has been involved with the major revisions of This We Believe, and served as publications editor for NMSA where he shepherded numerous books through the publication process.
Many Maine educators count Ed as an major influence and mentor in their professional lives. They have stretched further and done more than they ever thought possible. Some have gone on to work at the national and international level. As a result, Maine’s middle schoolers and students across the country have benefited tremendously from having teachers and principals who recognize their unique learning needs and are knowledgeable in how to effectively address them. Congratulations Ed and thank you for helping to improve the educational experience for Maine’s young adolescents for over 25 years!