It is with regret but warm wishes that the Board of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform announces the retirement of Dr. Deborah Kasak as Executive Director effective January 1, 2016. Dr. Kasak has provided thirteen years of devoted service as the Forum’s only executive director. The Forum is indebted to Dr. Kasak for her commitment to middle grades education. Her positive attitude and ability to engage all stakeholders to speak with a common voice to leverage research, policy, leadership, and replicable model practices to drive middle-grades reform has resulted in the recognition of the work of the National Forum. Her tireless efforts on behalf of middle-grades students and educators leave the Forum in a position to continue the quest for a strong middle-grades educational experience for all students. Her work with the Forum’s signature initiative, Schools to Watch® is known throughout the nation, and her vision and leadership in the development and execution of the Forum’s 2010 and 2013 U. S. D. E. Investing in Innovation i3 Development Grants is a tribute to her contributions to the National Forum.

Please join the Board in extending best wishes to Dr. Kasak as she starts a new chapter in her life.

Linda Allen, President of the National Forum

Irvin Howard, Immediate Past President of the National Forum