District 70 librarian honored with two state awards
Highland Middle School Learning Center Director Dr. Erin Wyatt has been named the 2018-19 Librarian of the Year for her outstanding service and leadership by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators.
The state award winner also accepted the Demco Award for the school's summer "Highland Reads" program when she was honored by the AISLE at its annual conference earlier this month in Tinley Park.
The Demco Award recognizes a school library media center's achievement in planning and implementing an innovative or creative event or service, which has made a measurable positive impact on its users.
The award encourages innovation by asking applicants to highlight the way the library used all of its resources (which may include staff, administration, faculty, volunteers, and the community) to make this a successful event or service.
"Highland Reads is a program that has been exciting to be a part of from its inception," said Wyatt, who noted the award comes with a $1,000 gift that will be used for Highland Reads.
"With a dedicated committee of staff members and administrative support, this program has become part of the school culture through the unifying experience and has had an impact on students and staff through the texts, conversations, and programming. I'm thrilled and honored to be the recipient of these awards from AISLE. "
Highland Middle School Principal Dr. Jon Hallmark agrees.
"Highland Reads is a great program because it gets every student in the school to read one of two chosen books over the summer," Hallmark said. "Last year, when the programed debuted, we linked the books to a schoolwide charity to help others in a third-world country.
"This year, we were able to bring in the author of one of the books, Jack Andraka, who wrote "Breakthrough," to talk to all the middle school students. We also plan to link our schoolwide charity to the books on the Highland Reads program."
Being named the Librarian of the Year is a high honor for Wyatt. The distinguished award is only given when warranted and is not given every year. Recipients of the award are recognized for their "outstanding service and leadership contributions to the organization."
The award is "highly selective," and given only at the discretion of AISLE board members.
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