2011 GLMA Bloggers

My name is Beth Friese and I am thrilled to be a part of the GLMA blog team. I completed my Master’s in Instructional Technology / School Library Media at the University of Georgia in 2006. I am currently working on my Ph. D. in Language and Literacy Education. I teach courses in children’s literature, language arts, and writing pedagogy at the University of Georgia. My research interests involve youth and their literacies in library contexts. If you’re roaming the stacks, you’ll most often find me in front of the poetry or graphic nonfiction shelves. I tweet about libraries and literacy as @librarybeth.

I’m Buddy Quirouet, and I first taught in 1978.   After leaving the profession for eight years, I returned in 1987 and taught English (primarily 9th graders) at Avondale and Columbia High Schools until 1997.  From 1997-2001,I  served as  Media Specialist at Southwest DeKalb; from 2001-2006, I was  Media Specialist at MLK High School. Since 2006, I have been the Media Specialist at Stone Mountain Middle School. As for the LOC stuff. I attended Library of Congress Summer Institute level 1 in 2008,  and level 2 in 2009; I was selected one of twenty Teaching with Primary Sources Teacher Mentors in 2010.

I earned my Ed.S. in Teaching and Learning with special emphasis in
Library Media from Georgia State University.  I consider myself a “helper-troid”—I enjoy fulfilling many roles, all attached to the library, from helping the kids with
projects, research, finding books they like to read, encouraging them to explore new authors and genre, helping them with technical questions and encouraging them to explore new (to them) web sites and research methods..including BOOKS.  Assisting the teachers and administrators is a big part of my day as well, assisting them with technical questions and web sites, helping them to explore new media options so they (and I) may assist their students to create new and exciting ways to show their work.

Stephen Rahn taught high school Spanish for 12 years, and he has been an information technology specialist at Kennesaw State University since 2001. He has worked with school districts all across Georgia, and he is working on his doctorate in instructional technology at Kennesaw State. Stephen has also presented at state and national conferences and enjoys playing tennis when he isn’t online. You can also follow Stephen on Twitter by clicking here.

Gregory Odell is an e-Learning Specialist with Hall County Schools in Gainesville, Georgia.  Odell earned his Ed.S. in Instructional Technology and School Library Media at the University of Georgia in 2003.  Prior to becoming an e-Learning Specialist, Odell has served as a classroom teacher and a math/science lab instructor for both the 4th and 5th grade levels. Odell also served for 7 years as a media specialist at the elementary level. He would like to see technology used to its fullest in the educational realm in order to provide a more individualized, relevant and engaging experience for today’s students.   Odell strives to help ensure district technology resources are being maximized, while also looking to the future for tools to improve learning environments. His professional interests include personal learning networks, digital student creation tools, blended learning, and e-Learning as an educational tool.  You can also follow him on Twitter!

Andy Plemmons is the library media specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA.  He holds a BSED in Early Childhood Education, an MED in Children’s Literature and Language Arts, and an EdS in Instructional Technology/School Library Media.  After teaching 3rd grade for 7 years, Andy Plemmons transitioned into the media center to support elementary students, teachers, and families in celebrating the joy of reading, exploring information in a variety of formats, and creating new types of information via web 2.0 technology.  Andy is the proud Dad of Alora, a curious toddler who teaches him new things every day.  Andy enjoys spending time with his wife Denise and daughter Alora going on any adventure that comes their way.  He also enjoys exploring new technology and has just ventured into the world of e-reading with a Nook Color.  All adventures and explorations usually find their way back into the media center in some way.

About Mary K. Donovan: I was a high school English teacher for ten years before becoming a school media specialist. After spending four years in a middle school media center, I moved to back to the high school level where my true interests lie. I currently am a media specialist at Mill Creek High School in Gwinnett County, where I am fortunate enough to work with another wonderful media specialist and great friend, Julie Hatcher, and clerk extraordinaire, Kari Manning, along with 3,600 amazing students. I also serve on the selection committee of the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teens. I enjoy reading Young Adult literature to share with friends and students, working with Golden Retriever and Lab Rescue, and spending time at the beach with my husband and three dogs.

Jim Randolph:  I am an elementary school librarian in Gwinnett County.  Previously I was an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in Barrow and Gwinnett for about ten years.  I received my library degree (even though they don’t call it that) at the University of Georgia.  During my studies there, we were asked to do a project on an information outlet for librarians (magazines, blogs, etc.) and I chose the GLMA blog.  We had to present our work online with some commenting mechanism so since I was doing mine on a blog I chose a blog format (you can view the results here if you care.  I took the step of interviewing Kris Woods, the previous editor, and she asked me to contribute which I have been happily doing ever since.I live in Lilburn with a lovely and talented fourth grade teacher to whom I am married and we are the playthings of our amazing and funny elementary-aged daughter, Harper.

Phyllis Robinson Snipes: My passion is teaching! I have had a career that I love, so I hesitate to call it “work.”

I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Innovation, School Library Media track, at the University of West Georgia. I served in the P12 schools for 30 years, working as a media specialist at all levels and media coordinator for the Carrollton City School System. I received my B.S. in Early Childhood Education at West Georgia College, and Ed.S. and Ph.D in School Library Media Technology from Georgia State University.

My focus, even though working at the graduate university level, is kids. There’s nothing better than hearing a student say, “Oh, I get it!” Or, “Thanks, that’s just what I needed!” I am very excited as I think of the awesome things the next decade holds for our kids.

Greetings from the coast! My name is Annie Kiene, and I am currently one of the librarians at Richmond Hill High School in Bryan County. It’s my third year here, and I was the librarian at Bryan County Middle School for three years before that. I received both my BA in English and MED in Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia. I love reading, exploring the web, and learning about all sorts of technology. I love gadgets too – especially my Kindle. I also enjoy helping my students and learning from them. When I’m not in the library or doing something library-related, I enjoy traveling, being outside, and spending time with my awesome family.

Laura Losch has been a School Library Media Specialist in Hall County since 2008. Prior to being a Media Specialist, Laura had an eight-year career in Banking & Finance. She often thinks this gives her a different (unconventional) aspect on running her Media Center. Laura has learned over the years that the best way to promote literacy in her school is to read middle school books herself and conduct book talks or casual conversations about the titles in the Media Center. She is now passing these “reviews” on to you as a Book Review Blogger for GLMA. Laura lives in northern White County with her teacher husband, one-year-old daughter Mabry, and a feisty dachshund named Bo.

Susan K. S. Grigsby earned her M.LM at Georgia State University in December 1997 while working as a private school media clerk. She served 3 more years there as the Director of Media Services then moved to DeKalb County where she stayed until 2006. After a year in Pickens County, Susan is now teaching at Elkins Pointe Middle School in Fulton County.

In 1986, Susan was the top graduate in her class at The Music Business Institute. She then completed a B.S. in Commercial Music Recording and Production from Georgia State University in 1992. Susan worked on a live-sound crew and became manager of an Atlanta recording studio. She has worked in the video production field as an audio technician, videographer and producer. She entered the Library field when she discovered that everything she enjoyed could be found in this profession.

Susan has served on the board of the Georgia Library Media Association since 1999 as Independent Schools Representative, Communications Chair, NewsLeader editor, Treasurer, Library Media Specialist of the Year Chair, President-Elect, President, and Summer Institute Chair.

Holly Frilot is a library media specialist at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, GA. She is passionate about using technology and educating students to use technology effectively. Her favorite part of the job, however, is simply talking with kids about books, as well as turning high school students on to reading. She is a former Language Arts teacher, earned three degrees from UGA, and worked in editing and marketing prior to her education career.

Rebecca Amerson:  I am a National Board Certified library teacher.  I have been an educator for 36 years – as a classroom teacher, school librarian, technology specialist, and now as the district facilitator of online learning/credit recovery.   I have been lucky enough to attend two teacher workshops at the Library of Congress and taken up as my mission to tell anyone who will listen about the many free online primary sources available to enrich teaching and learning.  Many of those resources I hope to share with you on the blog and others are accessible from my website: http://mysite.cherokee.k12.ga.us/personal/rebecca_amerson/site/default.aspx .

Courtney McGough began working with GALILEO Support Services in January of 2007. She assists in answering technical support requests submitted through the GALILEO Contact Us form and in designing and conducting trainings for librarians across the state of Georgia. She received a Master of Science in Information Sciences through the distance education program at The University of Tennessee in May of 2007. Before coming to GALILEO, she worked in the library of Oxford College of Emory University primarily teaching students to use library resources and managing interlibrary loans. Prior to choosing librarianship as a career, Courtney served as a school psychologist in the Rockdale County Public Schools system.

Beth Miller has been the Library Media Specialist at Crabapple Middle School in Roswell (Fulton County) for the past 4 years.  Prior to Crabapple she spent over spent over 20 years in business and information technology which has helped her significantly in the LMS position.  Beth received her BS from Bethany College (WVA), an MS in Computing in Education from Teachers College (Columbia U), and her MLIS from Florida State University in 2006.  In 2010 the Crabapple Library Media Program was designated a Georgia Exceptional Media Program and in 2011 Beth will be Secretary for GLMA.  Beth enjoys learning new ideas and programs that help both her teachers and students…she is always trying to keep one step ahead of her middle school students (a challenging task).    She also loves new adventures, golf and her two teenage sons!

Betsy Razza will be the president of GLMA for 2011 and has served on the GLMA board as Legislative Advocacy Chair, Grants Coordinator, LMSOTY Chair, and GLMA President-Elect for 2010. She is a teacher-librarian at Druid Hills High School in Atlanta. Her main hobby is gardening and she received her school master gardener certification in 2009 by establishing a certified pollinator garden at her school with the involvement of students and faculty at her high school.

Valerie Ayer serves as instructional coordinator for the DeKalb County School System (DCSS).  Her library work experience includes, president of GLMA, school library media specialist, Shadow Rock Elementary, DeKalb County Schools; reference librarian, Georgia State University; and branch manager, DeKalb County Public Library.  In her current position, she provides leadership in all aspects of the DCSS library media programs, plans and coordinates Professional Learning for teacher-librarians, and manages the daily operation and maintenance of the DCSS Professional Library.

Educational attainment includes a B.A. in Sociology from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida; M.L.S. in Library Information Studies from Clark Atlanta University; and Ed.S. in Library Information Science from Florida State University. Additional work completed at Georgia State University and University of West Georgia.Valerie has presented at Georgia COMO and Georgia Children’s Literature conferences on KidsConnect, grant writing, and school news production.  Valerie has also received the honors of 1997 Teacher of the Year at Shadow Rock Elementary and 2004 Goen -Sloan Scholarship Award GAIT recipient.She is a member of the American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, Georgia Library Media Association, and Georgia Association of Instructional Technology.  Valerie is currently serving as GLMA Past-President and GLMA Intellectual Freedom Award Chair.

Anja Tigges is currently the school librarian at Scott Elementary, Atlanta Public Schools.  She earned her undergraduate degrees in  German and Art History from Emory University; a MA in German Literature from University of Florida; a MA in Geography from GA State; and an Ed.S. in Instructional Tecnology from University of Georgia.

Anja spent 12 years teaching German in DeKalb County before becoming an elementary school librarian.  She was the school librarian for 3 years at Sawyer Road Elementary School, Marietta City Schools and is now in her third year as the librarian at Scott Elementary, Atlanta Public Schools.   She has too many favorite books to list here, but two special titles are To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Little Prince. A passionate advocate for children’s literature, this Capricorn also loves dogs and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Diane Griffin: I am currently the library media specialist at Howard Middle School in Macon. I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University, where I met my wonderful husband who should have been a librarian, too! I feel privileged to be able to work in the largest classroom in the school.

For the past two years I have worked at the middle school level, but prior to that, I worked in an elementary school library for three years and a K-12 private school library for two years. I have been an educator for almost 18 years. We have one son who is a senior at UGA.

I believe great stories can make a difference in a person’s life and I work toward placing the right book in the right hand at the right time. Making connections with our students through books and technology is the highlight of my job. Technology tools are great for letting students share their reading experiences with others while allowing the walls of the library to expand.

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