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National School Library of the Year Application 2021: Meet Our Librarians

This is the electronic portfolio for the National School Library of the Year application for 2021 for Calvert County Public Schools.

meet our library family

Barstow Elementary

Kathleen Music

Mrs. Music grew up on Long Island.  She moved to Maryland when she was recruited as a teacher.  She has a BA in Elementary Education.  She was an elementary classroom teacher for 4 years.  This is her 29th year in education.
She has a Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland.  She has enjoyed being a school librarian for 25 years.

The best part of being a school librarian is being able to get to know every student in every grade.  Seeing, hearing, and feeling the pure excitement that kids have about reading is contagious and there is no better place to be than in the library.

Calvert High

Donna Mignardi

Donna has her MLS from the University of Maryland and has been enjoying life as a high school teacher librarian at Calvert High School for over 20 years. Donna is known for her insight as she works with teachers and students to plan programs that meet the curricula, teacher, student and school needs. She has previously shared her programs through local, state, and national conferences. Donna blogs for Programming Librarian and has been published. She is the 2020 Maryland School Librarian of the Year and is the Secretary for the Maryland Association of School Librarians. She is a member of ALA And AASL and has served on several taskforces and committees.

Huntingtown Elementary

Lauren Lynn

Lauren is a life-long Marylander and enjoyed “playing library” as a child.   Lauren began her career as a prekindergarten teacher in Calvert County.  She worked in Montgomery County as a school librarian and currently works as the school librarian at Huntingtown Elementary School.  

Lauren is constantly working to diversify her library and serves as a representative for school librarians on Calvert County's Diversity and Equity Leadership Team. She has a flair for the dramatic and her students never know how she will greet them...  sometimes it is with music or a life-size stuffed animal or even in costume! (Darth Vader made an appearance this year.)

Lauren thinks the best part of being a school librarian is reading stories aloud to students young and old!

Lauren has presented multiple times at state and national conferences. She was named her school's Teacher of the Year in 2018. She was also a finalist for the Maryland School Librarian of the Year in 2019. She is an avid learner choosing to spend her summers learning at institutes hosted by the Library of Congress, Mount Vernon, The Smithsonian and the National Portrait Gallery.  She is also a published author and you can read her work at this link. 

She is a member of MASL, ALA, and AASL.

Mt. Harmony Elementary

Melaney Sanchez, a National Board Certified Teacher, researched minority achievement for her Ph.D. from Notre Dame of Maryland University.  As the librarian at Mt. Harmony Elementary she serves on the Collaborative Leadership Team, sponsors Girls Who Code and the National Parks Club, and coordinates American History Night and Literacy Night.  She was a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar and Teacher of the Year for Calvert County and the Washington Post.  She is seeking to create partnerships and collaborate globally so she can connect her rural district to the wider world and is currently a participant in the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program.

Northern Middle

Brandon Aris

Brandon Aris is the school librarian at Northern Middle.  His expertise is in research skills.  Brandon maintains that his 600 collection with an average date of the 1980's is because his students circulate his weird, old, cookbook collection!

Plum Point Elementary

Peggy Demedis

Mrs. Demedis is the school librarian at Plum Point Elementary School.  A career change after becoming a lawyer led her to the school library over 30 years ago.  Mrs. Demedis has had an impact on countless students and staff in CCPS. She is known for her creative, dramatic, retellings of stories and her unwavering ability to continuously learn.  

St. Leonard Elementary

Mary Brooke Fitzpatrick

Mary Brooke Fitzpatrick, is an enthusiastic School Librarian, who loves her job, her school (St. Leonard Elementary) and the students and staff she supports. 

She is a National Board-Certified Teacher with a Media Certification in grades K-12, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a BA in Business with a concentration in Finance and Computer Information Systems.

After teaching in the classroom for twelve years, she moved to the library where she found her true passion.  Introducing students to new books, series and authors and also helping students find “just the right book” brings her great joy.  She’s grateful for the assistance of Mrs. Gott, who keeps the library in tip-top shape and for the inspiration she gets from her fellow CCPS librarians. She is also very appreciative of the support she receives from her administration and her supervisor, Jen Sturge.

While commuting to work she loves listening to audio books and when not working, she enjoys reading (imagine that!), spending time with her family and friends, taking pictures and creating photo books.

Each day, she hopes to make visiting the school library a bright spot in everyone’s day.

** The best part of being a school librarian is teaching every child in the school and watching them grow over the years into a better more enthusiastic reader and smarter digital citizen.

Windy Hill Middle

Anne Jones

Anne Jones says that the best part of being a school librarian is helping every student at Windy Hill Middle find that one book that will spark a love of reading and learn to be responsible producers and consumers of information.  BEST job ever! Anne has been the school librarian at Windy Hill Middle Schools since 2004.  Anne became a school librarian after working for 16 years at Freddie Mac in Mclean, Virginia. She serves as the school based technology coordinator, the coordinator of the school news broadcast, the sponsor of the Green Team, and volleyball coach. Her hobbies include cycling, traveling, getting lost in a good book and being outdoors as much as possible. Anne is a member of MASL.

 

Beach Elementary

Casey Grenier

Casey Grenier grew up in Calvert County and attended CCPS schools. She started teaching at CES as a 5th grade teacher. Over ten years she taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades at CES and BES. Ready for another change, she moved into the BES library where she gets to teach all of our students year after year!

The best part of being a school librarian is introducing our students to their new best friends, the authors, illustrators, and books that they will think about and enjoy forever.

Casey is a member of the Black-Eyed Susan selection Committee for the Maryland Association of School Librarians, a member of ALA and AASL and an author.  Read her blog post here. 

Calvert Middle

joe

Librarian, Teacher, Adventurer, Astronaut, Knight, Camper, Mechanic, Archaeologist, Deep Sea Diver… some describe me but all are places, people, or times I have visited through reading. Currently the librarian at Calvert Middle School, in Calvert County. Celebrating 27 years in education. I enjoy reading print books and am stubbornly moving to ebooks. Proud parent of a software engineer, mechanical engineer, a senior in high school and far too many pets.

Huntingtown High

Rachael Younkers

Rachael Younkers is the school librarian at Huntingtown High School.  Prior to becoming a school librarian Rachael was a social studies teacher and a Maryland State Teacher of the Year.  Ms. Younker's says that the best part of being a school librarian is creating a hub for exploration, learning, and collaboration. The library is the heart of a school.

Mutual Elementary

Kristin Halstead

Kristin a Calvert County native and has been teaching for 25 years.  She taught middle school ELA for 14 years before becoming an elementary librarian.  She was lucky enough to work at the elementary school her children attended. Kristin is actively involved in her school's PTA and is a Girl Scout leader.  Kristin was recently named her school's Teacher of the Year.

The best part of being a school librarian is helping students find books and information that interest them.

Patuxent Appeal Campus

JoAnn Hill

JoAnn Hill is the school librarian at Patuxent Appeal Campus.  This is the largest elementary school in our district, serving over 700 students weekly.  JoAnn is an avid proponent of reading and literacy.  She excels at getting reluctant readers to pick up a great book.  JoAnn is such a guru at getting students to utilize Capstone ebooks that she has been recognized by Capstone for her efforts.  JoAnn has over 30 years experience in the classroom and school library and is so valued by our team, her staff, students, parents, and administration.

Plum Point Middle

Theresa Remington

My name is Theresa Remington and I am the school librarian at PPMS.  I have been a librarian for 19 years.  Before that, I taught first and second grade.  This is my 28th year with CCPS.  My hobbies are playing tennis, trying out new recipes, taking my dog for walks and of course, reading.  

The best part of being a school librarian is helping students find books that they will love!  I also love creating a learning space where everyone feels welcome and accepted for who they are.

She is a member of MASL, ALA, and AASL.

Sunderland Elementary

Sally Wolfe

Sally C. Wolfe has over 30 years of teaching experience in the school library setting.  Mrs. Wolfe began her teaching career in 1987 in the Prince George’s County Public Schools.  In August of 1992, she was hired by the Calvert County Public Schools and is currently the School Librarian at Sunderland Elementary School, a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School Award winner.

Mrs. Wolfe was named Teacher of the Year at Patuxent Elementary School in 1995 and Teacher of the Year at Sunderland Elementary School in 2013.  She was named the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award winner for Calvert County in 2014.  She was a finalist for the Maryland School Librarian of the year in 2018.

Sally received her MS in library science from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. in 1991.  She received her BS in sociology from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md. in 1985. 

Sally’s mission statement for the Sunderland Elementary School library is to encourage students to understand and effectively use information to communicate ideas; to effectively and responsibly use technology; to provide AASL Standards- aligned lessons that promote inquiry, inclusion, collaboration, curating resources and exploration; and finally, to develop independent lifelong learners with a love for reading and creativity.

Central Office

Jennifer Sturge

Jennifer Sturge (she/hers) is employed by Calvert County Public Schools. She has an undergraduate degree in education from Clarion University, a Master’s in School Library and Instructional Technology from Mansfield University, and is currently a doctoral student at Point Park University.  She has been an educator for 27 years, and a proponent of both school and public libraries since she won the Calvert Library bookmark creation contest at the age of 7.  Jennifer is a 2017-2018 Lilead Fellow, the Maryland Technology Leader of the Year for 2019, and is the 2020-2021 Maryland Association of School Librarians President. She is a member of ALA and AASL and has served on several taskforces and committees.  She received the Ruth Toor Grant, Maryland Technology Leader of the Year, is a Lilead Fellow, and the ABC-Clio Leadership grant. She is chair-elect of the supervisors section of AASL.  She currently is a blogger for Programming Librarian with colleague Donna Mignardi.  She also blogs for Knowledge Quest on a regular basis and serves on the editorial board of KQ.  Jennifer is an adjunct professor at the iSchool for The University of Maryland College Park. Jennifer has presented at the local, state, and national levels. She resides in Southern Maryland with her family. Connect with her on Twitter: @sturgej

Calvert Elementary

Susan Lusby

Susan Lusby is a School Librarian who feels honored to be an Eagle at CES!  She has a passion for teaching and creating a fun and welcoming environment in her library.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Leadership in Teaching with a Library Media Specialist Certification, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in grades K-6 and holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiography.

Prior to becoming a School Librarian, she taught fifth grade for eight years.  She has a love for books, research, makerspaces, and technology.  As a librarian, she enjoys interacting with her students, and she feels blessed supporting and collaborating with her staff. 

Her passion for technology shines as she enjoys her role as the SBTC, creating the school yearbook online, and loves to embrace and embed technology in all her library lessons.

The best part of being a school librarian is seeing children’s faces light up when they pick their favorite book to read, watching them collaborate and learn from one another, and creating projects using technology. 

She strives to put a smile on everyone’s face as they enter the library.  She believes in her library and everyone who steps into it. 

 

Dowell Elementary

MariJoel Verlich

MariJoel (MJ) Verlich is the school librarian at Dowell Elementary.  A career changer, MJ has modernized and updated the school library to incorporate a wide open and airy welcoming feel.  She is a proponent for the use of technology in teaching. You can find her working with even her youngest students on Wixie and databases.  MJ maintains that the school library is the place to be.  She has been named her school's teacher of the year numerous times, but declines the honor each year, saying she doesn't want to be in the spotlight. 

Mill Creek Middle

Mark Taeschner

Mark Taeschner is the school librarian at Mill Creek Middle School.  He graduated with a Masters in Library Science from the University of Buffalo in New York.  He began his career in Calvert County by opening St. Leonard Elementary school in 1996. He later opened Mill Creek Middle School in 2000 and has been there ever since.  Mark is the athletic director for Mill Creek Middle as well as a coach. He says that the best part of being a school librarian is collaborating with teachers and empowering students making it THE best job in the building.

Northern High

Monique Gillis

Monique Gillis is a school librarian at Northern High School in Calvert County, Maryland. Monique lives in Millersville, MD with her husband, her mom, her kids, her dog and her books.

She was born in Philadelphia, PA, and educated in North Carolina. She received her MLS degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC in 2009 and has been a librarian ever since- what a great way to combine her love of reading and her love of children! Before beginning her 10-year career as a school librarian, she was a classroom teacher for 10 years. Monique is a member of ALA, AASL,  and MASL

Patuxent High

Khristi Jenkins is the school librarian at Patuxent High School. She was born and raised in Raleigh, NC and began her teaching career with the Wake County Public School system as a high school English teacher 25 years ago. She received her Bachelor's degree in English Secondary Education from North Carolina Central University and was able to continue her education at NCCU and pursue her MLS when she was awarded the ALA Spectrum Scholarship. She moved to MD after she got married, following her husband's career opportunities. They now have two children, 15 and 18. She has been a school librarian for 20 years and has always focused on creating life-long readers and building diverse library collections in every library she has had the opportunity to work in. 

She loves her school and intends to finish her career helping the teachers and students at PHS! She is a member of the School Improvement Team (SIT), PBIS Team, Equity Team and Mentorship Committee as well as sponsor of Girls Place at the Table, a leadership group for minority females that seeks to break negative stereotypes and prepare young ladies for college. She is also a certified Common Sense educator.

For her, best part of being a school librarian is collaborating with colleagues and putting books into the hands of her students! She is a member of ALA, AASL, and MASL.

Southern Middle

crystal hill

I have been teaching in Calvert County for 24 years, 18 of which have been as a school librarian.  

The best part of being a MS librarian is working with the students.

I love to travel, read, cook and watch college sports with my family. Let’s go Mountaineers!

Windy Hill Elementary

Chris Angus

Chris Angus grew up in a small town in upstate New York.  He attended college at the University of Tampa and got my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  He was a classroom teacher for upper elementary for fourteen years before deciding it was time for a change.  Chris attended Old Dominion University to attain my library degree.  He has now been a librarian for four years and love what he does every day.  The best part about being a school librarian is helping kids develop a love for reading and exploring everything literature has to offer.

Chris was recently named as Maryland's Monthly Amazing School Librarian by the American Association of School Librarians. 

He is a member of MASL, ALA, and AASL.

Some Thoughts....

The librarians of Calvert County Public Schools are an amazing team.  They are thoughtful, professional, and dedicated.  If there is one thing that separates Calvert school librarians from the rest of the country, it's the joy we have in interacting with each other.  We are literally a giant family of school librarians.  We know birthdays, we text, we have a Group Me to keep in touch.  We celebrate each others' milestones: birthdays, marriages, the birth of children and grandchildren.  We mourn together.  We send get well wishes when someone falls ill. We bounce ideas off of one another, and we take care of each other.  We have (pre-pandimic) happy hour and end of the year pool parties.  These days, we're meeting over Teams, but we still find time to make sure we are taking care of each other and celebrate the little wins.

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