Indianapolis Middle School Principal Yvonne Rambo Honored as Top in the Nation

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Pearson Congratulates Willard J. Gambold Middle School Principal for "Drive, Determination and Expertise" as Exemplary Leader in Middle Grades Education

Indianapolis is home to one of the nation's top middle school educators. Honored for her drive, determination and expertise in converting a school in academic chaos and disarray into the city's highest achieving middle school, Yvonne Rambo is the recipient of the 2010 National Middle School Association (NMSA) Distinguished Educator Award. At its meeting on Nov. 23, the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Board of School Commissioners will recognize Rambo for the award.

Sponsored by NMSA and Pearson, the global leader in education, technology and services, this award, established in 2003, recognizes outstanding practitioners in middle level education - those who have made a significant impact on the lives of young adolescents through leadership, vision and advocacy. Rambo was recommended for this exemplary recognition by IPS Superintendent Eugene G. White.

An educator for more than 25 years, Rambo has found her career in middle grades education to be "exciting, dynamic and rewarding," she said. Today, she is the principal at Indianapolis' Willard J. Gambold Middle School, the only Title I middle school in the district that made Adequate Yearly Progress last year.

There, Rambo has launched innovative programs such as vocabulary immersion for English as a Second Language students and Breakfast Algebra, where eighth-graders can earn high school math credit. She also created an individualized remediation program to address gaps in language arts and math and directed a multi-million dollar renovation of the school building, complete with 21st century technology.

Also under Rambo's leadership, Gambold Middle School uses a reading program that is boosting achievement for students at every level - from very low readers requiring phonics instruction to those reading above grade level needing enrichment opportunities. Students are gaining, on average, two years' achievement in reading each year.

"I am incredibly honored and humbled to be recognized with this award," said Rambo. "We're in an urban district, with a diverse, socioeconomically challenged population, and, like many educators, we work hard to be innovative and child-centered in everything we do. Our faculty and students are amazing. It's breathtaking when you see what the kids can achieve."

"Congratulations to Mrs. Rambo for earning this well-deserved recognition," said Pat McHugh, Pearson's vice president for Indiana, who presented the award earlier this month at the NMSA National Conference in Baltimore. "If students are engaged and successful in their middle grade years, they are on a path for academic success in high school that will prepare them for college and careers. The students and faculty at Mrs. Rambo's Gambold Middle School are extremely fortunate to have her as their leader, and Pearson is proud to recognize her with this award. Her dedication and educational innovation serve as a model to her colleagues throughout the country."

About the National Middle School Association
With more than 25,000 members who are principals, teachers, central office personnel, professors, college students, parents, community leaders and educational consultants around the globe, National Middle School Association (NMSA) welcomes and provides support to anyone interested in the health and education of young adolescents. NMSA offers resources for middle level educators working to develop more effective schools. Visit

About Pearson
As the world's leading education company and leader in learning, content, technology, assessment and education services, Pearson is committed to improving the lives of people everywhere. It does so by providing support to build a stronger education system and offers personalized opportunities for students of all ages to learn at their own pace, in their own way. The company's success is founded in partnering with education stakeholders to deliver innovative products, technologies and services that respond to challenges to education and help improve student achievement. Pearson is making unprecedented levels of investment in new models for education and supporting key elements of the reform agenda: Common Core standards, college and career readiness, teacher effectiveness, school improvement, and custom solutions for schools and colleges. Visit

For more information, press only:
Kate Miller, 800-745-8489
Lisa Wolfe, L. Wolfe Communications, 773-227-1049


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