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AASL Awards Update! June 29, 2014

Posted by Susi Grissom in Check this out!.
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Guest blogger Val Edwards, AASL Division Councilor, sends this report on the AASL 2013-2014 Awards program, held this past Saturday at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Yesterday I had a wonderful, inspiring experience.  I was in attendance at AASL’s  2013-2014 Awards program.  This year’s crop of winners are a particularly impressive bunch.

Winners include:

Dollar General Catastrophic Grant recipients Dr. Robinson and Dr. Knittle. Both winners are Superintendents in schools which were decimated by fire. They were models of reliance and champions of libraries.

Frances Henne award winner, Carolyn Stensel transformed her library from tired to dynamic during her two year tenure.  This award is sponsored by ABC-CLIO.

Janet Wells, representing the Kentucky Assn of School Librarians, accepted the ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant to support a training program for the next generation of leader librarians.

This year’s Distinguished School Administrator, sponsored by Proquest, is Arturo Cavazos, Superintendent of Schools in Harlingen, TX.  It was inspiring to hear of the impact that libraries have had on him and his siblings.  Superintendent Cavazos is a strong champion for school libraries.

Brenda Boyer and her teacher colleagues, Allison Kocis-Westgate and Josh Chambers, were awarded the Collaborative School Library Award, sponsored by Upstart.

The Innovative Reading Grant sponsored by Capstone was awarded to Christina Genay who developed a bike bookmobile which she uses to deliver books to her students in poverty.  Her energy and dedication set a high benchmark for us all.

Two Information Technology Pathfinder Awards were awarded this year by Follett.  Recipients were Louise Lankau of Houston, TX and Susan Nottoli form Elk Grove Village, IL.

Cathy Collins received the Intellectual Freedom Award sponsored by Proquest and Debra Kachel of Mansfield University received the Distinguished Service Award sponsored by Baker & Taylor.

Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award went to Elizabeth Lobmeyer of Garden City, KS.  Elizabeth was an inspiration as she lead students in a high poverty school to process social justice themes in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and determine that they had a role in making the world a better place.  They successfully completed a service project which had them making fleece blankets to be sent to the babies of women in jail in Ecquador.  I was awed by the vision, caring and kindness this project brought out.  If this is representative of the caliber of the work we will learn of through this new award, we must all sit up and take notice and contemplate how we will do our part.

Finally, the National School Library Program of the Year sponsored by Follett was announced.  This year’s recipient, Eaglecrest High School of Centennial, CO has upheld the expectation that we will be made aware of exemplary programs in our field.  Having these programs in front of us as models is a great service to our membership.

All in all attending the award program was time well spent.  I left with many ideas for strengthening my own work to support student learning.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

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