CCSD Media Specialist Wins State Intellectual Freedom Award!

CCSD Media Specialist Wins State Intellectual Freedom Award!

A Cherokee County School District media specialist has won the 2017 Georgia Library Media Association Intellectual Freedom Award!

Amanda Graves

E.T. Booth Middle School Media Specialist Amanda Graves has won the prestigious honor, which recognizes an individual for upholding the principles of intellectual freedom as set forth by the American Library Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association.

Ms. Graves earned her early childhood education degree from Brenau University and her masters of library and information science degree from Valdosta State University in 2012, where she received dual degrees in school media and public librarianship. In 2013, she began working for Cobb County’s school system, and this school year joined E.T. Booth Middle School, where she serves more than 1,700 students and 100-plus faculty and staff members.

She will be honored at the Georgia Library Media Association Summer Institute Conference in June in Peachtree City and will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the April 20 school board meeting.


Cherokee HS Media Specialist Named CCSD Media Specialist of the Year!

Cherokee High School Media Specialist Anne Nechvatal gets a congratulatory hug from social studies teacher Angie Pannell after the surprise announcement that she was chosen as the Cherokee County School District’s 2017 Media Specialist of the Year.

Check out the video from today’s surprise presentation: https://youtu.be/YH2iQajg1PM

The Cherokee High School media center’s transformation from old-school library to a modern, collaborative learning space has earned Anne Nechvatal the honor of Cherokee County School District 2017 Media Specialist of the Year!

Ms. Nechvatal, who sees the center as “the largest classroom in the school,” was surprised with the award on Monday, March 6, 2017 by the Superintendent of Schools and School Board Members in front of an audience of the school’s faculty and her husband. She now will represent CCSD in the State-level competition. The presentation and reception that followed were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower praised Ms. Nechvatal for her dedication to digital learning.

“You’ve turned the media center upside down to make sure it’s relevant for your students and teachers,” Dr. Hightower said, applauding her focus on staying up to date in an “age of information.” “Anne is a shining example of everything we want a media specialist to be.”

Ms. Nechvatal, who was congratulated with a standing ovation, said she was “very honored and overwhelmed” by the surprise. She also was quick to acknowledge the work of her fellow media specialist, Vicki Barbre, noting “this is really her honor as well.”

Anne Nechvatal is congratulated by her husband, Gerry, as part of the surprise announcement that she is CCSD’s Media Specialist of the Year, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Principal Todd Miller look on.

The award process begins with each Innovation Zone (high school and feeder elementary and middle schools) selecting a Media Specialist for the Year. Applications from these honorees then are considered by a panel of retired educators and community leaders, who select the CCSD Media Specialist of the Year.

In addition to Ms. Nechvatal for the Cherokee Innovation Zone (IZ), the other Zone winners are: Creekview IZ – Hollen Pope, Ball Ground ES STEM Academy; Etowah IZ – Denise Lewis, Etowah HS; River Ridge IZ – Keara Rubin, River Ridge HS; Sequoyah IZ – Mia Temples, Hickory Flat ES; and Woodstock IZ – Kimberly George, Sixes ES. They all will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the March 16 School Board meeting.

Ms. Nechvatal is a graduate of Oglethorpe University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree; University of West Georgia, where she earned her masters of education degree in school library media; and University of West Georgia, where she recently completed her education specialist degree.

A previous winner of the Creekview IZ’s Media Specialist of the Year Award, Ms. Nechvatal joined Cherokee High School two years ago and since then has focused on updating the media center and its resources to increase benefits to students and teachers. She also serves as the school’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Team coach and judges Senior Projects.

“My mission for the CHS media center is to create a space that is open, accessible and user-friendly; put simply, a place where students want to come,” said Ms. Nechvatal, who previously served as a media specialist at Ball Ground ES STEM Academy.

Dr. Pam Andes, as graduation coach at the school, sees students benefit from the media center’s resources and additional learning opportunities.

“Our students are waiting for the media center to open each morning in order to spend time here before school begins,” Dr. Andes said. “Students know that she will assist them with any issues in the media center. She truly cares about our students and wants our media center to be second to none.”

Ms. Nechvatal has applied for grants to improve the center and develops activities to increase student traffic, such as the annual Technology “Smackdown” event.

“Building relationships is one of the most important parts of being an effective media specialist. I strive to understand the wants and needs of both our students and teachers,” she said. “I feel like the students are my customers, and I want to offer them the best customer service possible. I try not to ever let them go away empty handed.”

Principal Todd Miller thanked Ms. Nechvatal for all of her efforts that led to the honor.

“Thank you for what you do each day and for turning our media center into a digital learning center,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower, congratulates CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, as Cherokee High School Principal Todd Miller looks on.

From left to right, School Board member Kelly Poole, School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, and Jennifer Stanley of Northside Hospital-Cherokee, which sponsored by the award presentation and reception, congratulate CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal of Cherokee High School, center, with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Hightower and Principal Todd Miller.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower, right, awards flowers and plaque to CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal, center, as fellow media specialist Vicki Barbre, left, hugs her.

Following the surprise, CCSD 2017 Media Specialist of the Year Anne Nechvatal was celebrated at a reception in the media center with cake, punch and coffee. The presentation and reception were sponsored by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, a CCSD Partner.

 


CCSD Media Specialist of the Year Named Regional Winner!

Category : CCSD

RICE Jennifer

Cherokee County School District’s 2016 Media Specialist of the Year has been named the Regional winner!

Macedonia Elementary School Media Specialist Jennifer Rice in March was surprised with the CCSD award, and this week was named the Regional winner for North Central Georgia by the Georgia Library Media Association and Georgia Association of Instructional Technology!  She now will be considered for the statewide Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year award to be announced in November.

“This award confirms what we in CCSD already know: Jennifer Rice is an extraordinary media specialist and talented educator, as well as a passionate advocate for her profession,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said, noting this is the second consecutive year a CCSD media specialist has won the Regional title.  “Congratulations to Jennifer and the Macedonia Elementary School community for this outstanding recognition!”

Winners are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Leadership role through staff development, committee involvement, or professional advocacy;
  • Involvement in professional organizations;
  • Promotion of information technology utilization and literacy;
  • Promotion of reading and literature;
  • Involving parents and/or the community in the library media program as partners;
  • Working collaboratively with the educators in your building;
  • Innovative techniques used in your library media program; and,
  • Deliberate and ongoing professional development as a learner which is relevant to media services.

Ms. Rice and other Regional winners will be recognized at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference this fall, at which the State winner will be named.  Regional winners will receive plaques and $50 awards; the State winner will receive a $200 award.

A graduate of Georgia College & State University, where she earned bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees in education, Ms. Rice began her career as a classroom teacher before following her true calling to serve as a media specialist.  In addition to her traditional media specialist responsibilities, she also organizes the school’s reading bowl team, spelling bee and student news team.  Ms. Rice recently was named to the Georgia Children’s Picturebook Award Committee for a three-year appointment.