Jody Bachelder, Library Media Specialist for Hall-Dale Middle/High School, earned the 2013 Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL) School Library Media Specialist of the year award! It was a complete surprise that she was presented this prestigious recognition at the POPS merit assembly on March 29th. Virgel pulled the name of a “worthy teacher” out of a hat and Jody’s name popped up. Two representatives from the MASL committee presented her with a plaque, check and photograph of a lighthouse symbolizing the “beacon of light “she beams each day. She was further astonished when her daughter, Hillary, from Chicago and son, Sam, from Brooklyn walked out with her husband, Todd. An entourage of district and librarians throughout the state also appeared in her support.
The award is named in honor of Walter J. Taranko, a Vietnam veteran, librarian and teacher. He selflessly supported strong library programs for 35 years of work as the State Library liaison to the Department of Education. He started his career in Washington County where he drove the Bookmobile around to each school bringing A-V supplies and books.
Jody carries the mission of Walter as she gives of herself to make students at Hall-Dale better people, instill in them a love of reading and pique curiosity to learn. She has a wealth of knowledge about technology which expands students and teachers access to books and thorough research skills. She is a valuable resource to teachers within the RSU and throughout the state. She has creatively developed an easy to navigate website which is valuable to students, teachers, parents, and librarians. On that site one can access her Library Annual Report, book blogs, free audio books, Books by Mail, Information Literacy Skills Scope and Sequence aligned with the Common Core and more. It is a “good read” indeed. In addition to her library work, she is the point person for AFS International Exchange that enhances the school community each year. Her enthusiasm for books, a year abroad and each new day makes Jody a joy to behold. She is an intuitive, energetic, inspiringly open-minded teacher who Hall-Dale is really privileged to have as our “librarian extraordinaire.”
Photo credit Joe Phelan, Kennebec Journal
Friday, April 12, 2013