Burnette Elementary School Media Specialist Traci Costilow is Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2020 GCPS Library Media Specialist of the Year. The award honors a K-12 library media specialist whose services have resulted in exemplary library media programs.
Kim Reed, the principal of Burnette Elementary, nominated Costilow for the award. She says “Ms. Costilow ensures that the media program provides relative learning opportunities in the areas of research, digital learning, and independent reading. She also has aligned the media center program with the school’s mission to teach students at high levels, engage them in critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative communication to reach their highest potential.”
At the core of Costilow’s media program is the focus on encouraging a love of reading. Her current and diverse media collection appeals to students and is promoted through her “Book Talk Tuesdays” segment, which airs on Burnette Elementary’s morning news show. Ms. Costilow engages students in a variety of programs organized to motivate them and to increase their stamina as readers. Students are rewarded for their participation by choosing books from her “Book Wagon” as well as selecting a free book to add to their home library from the GCPS Book Mobile each spring. As the leader of the largest classroom in the school, Ms. Costilow is passionate about infusing technology into instruction. Through her video conferencing system, she shows students how technology can bring the world to their school. Burnette Elementary students have visited the National World War II Museum, met popular children’s authors, and participated in the Global Read Aloud with schools in Maryland and Michigan. Costilow’s leadership helped earn Burnette Elementary’s media program recognition as the Georgia Library Media Association’s (GLMA) Exceptional Library Media Program in 2019. She will now go on to compete for the Metro Area Library Media Specialist of the Year award sponsored by the GLMA.