Meet the Officers

Learn more about the leaders of our organization.


President Andrew Maxey

Andrew Maxey is the Director of Special Programs for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. He has been advocating for a focus on middle-level education since he transitioned from his experience as a high school educator many years ago. He is also passionate about elevating the role of classroom teachers in public education, effective grading practices, a renewed focus on libraries as indispensable hubs for nurturing literacy, and educational leadership. He considers it his moral obligation to ask questions, take risks and protect and advocate for those in his care.

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IMMEDIATE PAST President David Virtue

David Virtue is professor and head of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Auburn University. Before arriving at Auburn in 2016, Dr. Virtue was a department chair and professor of middle level education at the University of South Carolina. He was a Fulbright scholar in Norway in 2010-2011 and has published work on middle level curriculum, educator licensure policy, and social studies instruction. Dr. Virtue served as editor of Middle School Journal, the flagship publication of the Association for Middle Level Education, and he currently is editor of Research in Middle Level Education Online.


secretary erica Fox

Erica Fox found her calling as a middle school ELA teacher years ago in Tampa, Florida. Unbeknownst to her, accepting this first job would springboard her into a world that she would grow to not only love but passionately want to affect. Her desire to grow as a learner and support others has led her to act as subject area leader, district curriculum writer and trainer, and instructional coach. In 2016, her family relocated to Hoover, Alabama. Within her first weeks as an Instructional Coach for Shelby County Middle Schools, Erica inquired about whether there was a Middle Level Association in Alabama. Upon discovering there was not, she worked tirelessly to ensure that this organization would come into fruition. Middle school deserves a voice in Alabama, and Erica, now a 7th grade ELA teacher at Simmons Middle School, is thrilled to be a part of ALAMLE and the future of middle level education in the state!

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treasurer mike cook

Mike Cook is an Assistant Professor at Auburn University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses within the English Education program. His teaching and research interests focus primarily on multimodal literacy approaches in the preparation of pre-service and inservice ELA teachers and within middle and high school ELA classrooms. His scholarship has appeared in SIGNAL Journal, ALAN Review, Language & Literacy, and Literacy Research & Instruction, among others.


Communications Director Laren Hammonds

Laren Hammonds started her career as a high school ELA teacher. Eight years in, she made the move to middle school and currently spends her days with some of the coolest 8th graders on the planet. She is passionate about grade-level teaming for student support; prioritizes student collaboration, creation, and conversations around social justice issues; and considers the role of “book pusher” to be one of her most important jobs.


1) Melissa Shields 2) Amy Hill 3) Lena Walton 4) Brandon Kiser 5) Harriette Thompkins

6) Courtney Wilburn 7) Melanie Thomas 9) Sandy Armstrong 10) Chastity Collier

11) Amanda Nolin Current Vacancy: Region 8