Gwinnett County Public Schools named Lee Nichols, from Burnette Elementary School, as its 2019 Media Clerk of the Year. The Media Clerk of the Year Award honors a media clerk, who through individual leadership and sustained effort, has made worthy contributions to the operations of effective school library programs.
Nichols is humbled by the recognition, saying “I am so honored and flattered to win this award. It is truly a team effort in our Media Center. My Media Specialist, Traci Costilow, and I make a great team together with our lifelong love of books and reading. I believe the Media Clerk is the best position and feel so fortunate to be in this role on the Burnette Elementary team.”
Costilow, who nominated Nichols for the honor, says Nichols has been an important partner in helping Burnette Elementary’s Media Center grow and evolve into a true learning commons, with students creating, exploring, reading, and learning in every corner. Nichols has a passion for reading and exposing kindergartners to books. She also sponsors a school book club, participates in the school’s 40 Book Challenge, and created a mobile library to bring books to students.
Nichols has a passion for her work, explaining “I am motivated by our students that visit the library. I treasure book chats and relationships with the students. It is such fun to talk with them about books we are currently reading, different genres, and our likes and dislikes. You never know where the discussions will lead. The Media Center is the heart of the school and belongs to everyone.”
As the GCPS Media Clerk of the Year, Nichols will be nominated for the Library Journal’s Paralibrarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by DEMCO, recognizes the essential role of paralibrarians in both school and public libraries.
2019 GCPS School Library Advocate Award
Memorie Reesman, principal at Jones Middle School, is the recipient of the 2019 GCPS School Library Advocate Award. Reesman was nominated by Maile Steimer, media specialist at Jones Middle School. Sponsored by GCPS’ Department of Media Services & Technology Training, this award honors administrators outside the library profession who have made worthy contributions to the operations of effective library services in their school and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program.
Steimer says Reesman has “crafted the school’s Local School Plan for Improvement (LSPI) to have a laser focus on literacy and research-based pedagogical practices which she encourages the school’s Media program to support in a variety of ways.” She adds that Reesman recognizes the value of independent reading and student choice when accessing materials which is supported by the fact that the school has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of books circulated per student over the course of the school year.
As a recipient of the GCPS School Library Advocate Award, Reesman will be nominated by the district for the Distinguished School Administrators Award sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).