Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Finalists and Winner 2011


One of the highlights of the Georgia Council of Media Organizations Conference (GaCOMO) is the presentation of the Library Media Specialist of the Year Award (LMSOTY).  Co-sponsored by the Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) and the Georgia Association of Instructional Technology (GAIT), the LMSOTY Award recognizes a K-12 media specialist whose services have created an exemplary media program.  This year the state winner was selected from a group of seven district LMSOTY winners.

During GaCOMO the seven district LMSOTY winners participated in a very informative panel discussion.  They shared tips and ideas on how to develop an exceptional media program emphasizing student achievement.  At the GLMA/GAIT/GLA School Luncheon, GAIT President Sonja Fox and GLMA President Betsy Razza recognized each district LMSOTY and his/her enabler.  Then the state winner was introduced.

2011 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Susan Grigsby

This year’s state Library Media Specialist of the Year is Susan Grigsby of Elkins Pointe Middle School in Fulton County.  Susan represents the Metro District.  She was nominated by Jerome Huff, principal of Elkins Pointe Middle School at the time Susan was nominated last spring.  In his nomination letter, Mr. Huff stated that “Students enter the [Elkins Pointe] media center knowing that it is a place of learning and gathering information to make them better students.”   In addition to providing exemplary media services, Susan is actively involved in staff development at her school by consistently supporting the Georgia Performance Standards.

During the panel discussion, Susan commented that when library media specialists are asked to add another responsibility to their full schedule, we should “…shift our thinking from ‘yes, but…’ to ‘yes, and.’ That shift can lead to collaborative brainstorming that may never happen otherwise. Saying ‘yes, and’ allows others in on the idea so that solutions are discovered instead of problems. So, when you take a ‘never say no’ attitude it doesn’t mean you are doing every single thing someone asks you to do but it does mean finding a way to make many things work by inviting the requesting party to chime in on the solution. It also means giving creative ideas a nurturing place to grow and blossom instead of finding the problems with them right off the bat.”

In addition to receiving a plaque and $250.00 from GAIT and GLMA, Susan received a wonderful donation from Bound to

Susan Grigsby and Judy Serritella

Stay Bound Books, Inc., Peachtree Publishers, Capstone Books, World Book, and the GLA COMO Store.   Although not sponsors of the LMSOTY Award, these five vendors wanted to donate a gift to the state winner’s media center.  The donation will be used to purchase resources for patrons of Elkin Pointe Middle School Media Center.

There were six other districts represented in this year’s competition.  Beverly Brostek represented the Southeast District.  Beverly is the media specialist at Brunswick High School in Glynn County and was nominated by her principal Terry Graff.  Beverly believes that by “…giving teachers the tools they need to enhance their teaching will ultimately benefit all stakeholders…”  Therefore, Beverly will host technology training sessions that integrate technology into the  GPS.  She also turns the media center in the Pirates Café to promote reading.

The East District was represented by Angela Dallis, media specialist at Grovetown High School in Columbia County.  Anna Olliff, media specialist at Evans Middle School, nominated Anglea for LMSOTY.  Anglea states reading is her passion and that is why she constantly promotes books through read-alouds, book talks, and even dressing as various book characters.  She strives to have a “student-driven” media center despite budget cuts.  Often Angela volunteers to pilot software at her school knowing it will be a benefit to students, teachers, and parents.

Chris Parker, media specialist at Mt. Carmel Elementary in Henry County, represented the South Metro District.  Chris was nominated by his principal Martin Gore.  An avid supporter of the Georgia State Media Festival, Chris works with students and teachers to incorporate technology skills into daily lessons.  As coordinator of the school’s Compassion Projects, Chris is able to put books in the hands of his students, their parents, and even soldiers serving in the Middle East through multiple fundraising projects including book fairs.

Andy Plemmons represented the Northeast District, and he is the media specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary School in Clarke County.  He was nominated by his principal and enabler Dr. Ellen Sabatini.  Andy strongly believes students should help make decisions on book purchases.  He has two groups of students who meet with the vendors, preview books and help with the final order.  To help struggling readers, Andy talks to each individual to discover their interests which helps to lead them to become stronger readers and better students.

Shannon Robertson of Southeast Bulloch Middle School in Bulloch County represented the Coastal District.  She was nominated by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Fran Stephens.  One of the highlights of the media center is the weekly Book Club meeting that involves students in all grades.  Shannon worked with the sixth grade teachers to create a unit that emphasizes internet skills, research skills, internet safety, the Dewey system, and print resources.  All lessons carry over to projects in the upper grades.

The Southwest district was represented by Cheryl Youse, media specialist at Colquitt County High School.  Cheryl was nominated by her assistant principal Delano Jefferson and Gail D. Thompson, work-based learning coordinator.  To promote reading, Cheryl uses book talks, a Banned Books program, and book trailers, which have been viewed by students around the country.  Thanks to Cheryl, technology is an instrumental part of the learning environment for her students: Thinkfinity, Discovery Streaming, GALILEO, iPods, Google Earth.

Now is the time to start thinking about the K-12 media specialist who you know that should be nominated for LMSOTY.  Please review the guidelines on the GAIT web site ( or the GLMA web site ( ).  There are many outstanding media programs throughout the state.  Now more than ever it is imperative that people in other areas of education and outside of education know who is the driving force of these great programs.  Nominate an outstanding media specialist for Library Media Specialist of the Year.

Leslie Wantland,
GAMA Assistant

Stockbridge High School
1151 Old Conyers Road
Stockbridge, GA


About Buffy J. Hamilton

I am a writing and Language Arts teacher who loves learning, literacy, stories, learning, dogs, poetry, fabulous shoes, and good lip gloss. I began my career as a high school English teacher in 1992 and then became a high school librarian and 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker before returning to the classroom in August 2016.

Posted on October 21, 2011, in GLMA News. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Congratulations, Susan! This is a much deserved honor!

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