The recent surprise staff meeting at Gardiner Area High School was a very big surprise to Debra Butterfield, Teacher-Librarian when it was announced that she had been awarded the Walter J. Taranko School Librarian of the Year. This award is given each year by the Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL) to honor a school librarian who excels at the local, state and national level. Debra butterfield epitomizes the qualifications for Librarian of the Year.
In his nomination, Principal Chad Kempton spoke of Debra’s work with teacher on creating and developing research projects, her collaboration with the local library and her “Teen Read Week” and “Read to Me” programs. The Read to Me connects high school and elementary school students using the love of reading. Her work also goes beyond the walls of the library. In his recommendation, Mr. Kempton noted “ Debra recruited, then supported highschool students in a summer experience ….titled “the Human Element” a course in leadership, organization and the power of positive thinking.” She facilitates professional development activities with all library staff in the district as well as content specific teachers. She models and instructs the use of current technology and available databases by hosting technology webinars. One student noted her unflappable persistence in assisting that student with a particularly difficult school assignment, expressing that Debra has become a mentor to her and other students. She has a vision that goes beyond the boundaries of the library walls.
Congratulations to Debra Butterfield, Maine’s School Librarian of the Year!
Debra will also be recognized at the MASL Spring Symposium May 5, at Hermon High School.