2018 Keynote: Marlena Gross-Taylor

MGTWe are super excited to announce our keynote for our 2018 conference. Marlena Gross-Taylor will join IMLA in Idaho Falls, Idaho on February 16-17, 2018 to help “Shape the Future”. You may know her from her work as the founder of EduGladiators, a movement dedicated to empower educators to emphasize what is best for kids. Check our their newest podcast HERE.

“Marlena Gross-Taylor is a dedicated and successful EdLeader with a proven track record of improving educational and operational performance through vision, strategic planning, leadership, and team building. A Nashville transplant originally from southern Louisiana, Marlena’s educational experience spans several states allowing her to have served K-12 students in both rural and urban districts. She has been recognized as a middle school master teacher and innovative administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Because of her sound knowledge of both elementary and secondary education, Marlena has broad-based experience creating and implementing dynamic interactive programs to attain district goals while leveraging her flexibility, resourcefulness, and organizational and interpersonal skills to foster learning through a positive, encouraging environment.” Full Article Here.

Keynote Speaker: Derrick Boles


Announcing Dr. Wiley J. Dobbs as our Round Table Speaker for our 2016 Conference!  Don’t forget to register.  Only a few days remaining to lock in the early bird pricing.


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Oh, by the way — MEET 2016’s KEYNOTE SPEAKER!

c94c65_13d54af1665f4143beffd9396c9d4c06.jpg_srz_805_433_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzThe Idaho Middle Level Association is proud to announce that Derrick Boles is the Keynote Speaker for our 2016 conference!

Derrick Boles is recognized as a thought leader in human development and organizational behavior. He is known for his expertise in leadership and his authentic learning training models.

Derrick has been recognized as one of the most dynamic speakers in the country. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to support the “Ethos” of any group. Ethos is the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs or practices of a group or society, any community , business or organization. His innovative approach to developing the individual has earned him National and International recognition.

He has been able to build meaningful and lasting relationships with corporations, educational institutions, civil authority agencies and national youth groups which has earned him the none formal title and respect as a “Leader of Leaders.”

Derrick is a powerful presence and an an amazing speaker, and we can’t wait to have you with us at the 2016 conference to take his message back to your schools.

In the meantime, check out Derrick’s Website and his Facebook page to see what he’s up to.  You can also see our prior post about Derrick’s Work with his Stand Up America program.


Team SYNERGY at Kuna Middle School recently hosted a murder scene.  Read a bit more about it in the facebook post from the Ada County Shreiff’s Office.


Team SYNERGY hosts a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) environment for 7th and 8th grade students.  In this environment, students have direct access to their History, Language Arts, Math, and Science instructors at all times as they work to solve the problems laid out before them — and those problems require students to show off the skills they’ve practiced in all four core areas.

Team SYNERGY is scheduled to present at the 2015 IMLA conference, and they are excited to share more about how they designed and implemented their program that integrates PBL, as well as Blended Learning, and Standards-Based Grading.

In the meantime, feel free to check out their SYNERGY*VOICES blog, where they keep a log of successes, failures, problems, questions, and everything else they encounter as they move through their journey in redefining what middle school looks like.

New to Middle School?

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 3.58.45 PMThe transition to middle school can be daunting; there are fears lurking at every corner: lockers, new faces, new social situations, teachers can be scary.  But does anyone ever think of the parents?  Parents of middle school students also notice a sudden change in their children, ranging from their behaviors to what they need from their parents.  Being available for that change is also daunting for parents.

Click the image to the right for an introductory article to Cynthia Tobias’ new book: Middle School: The Inside Story — What Kids Tell Us, but Don’t Tell You.  

You might be surprised to find that you’re not alone.

More information on that book can be found here.

Middle School: The Inside Story

middle school inside storyIMLA 2015 Keynote speaker Cynthia Tobias recently released a new book called Middle School: The Inside Story – What Kids Tell Us, but Don’t Tell You.  The book provides practical, hands-on advice for helping your child through this minefield—with information about what he or she is really going through, but isn’t likely to share.

Ms. Tobias is also a featured speaker at NNU on Saturday, September 6 for a simulcast at the Brandt Center.