Ms. Herlihy with Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz and DCHS Principal Andre Weaver
“I believe that a media center is the heart of a school. It has the potential to impact every aspect of teaching and learning. It is the place where social and intellectual skills flourish regardless of learning style, socioeconomic background, or academic ability level.” This is the philosophy of Kristy Herlihy, who on March 6 was named 2017 Library Media Specialist of the Year for the Douglas County School System.
A media specialist at Douglas County High School since 2007, Ms. Herlihy is also the co-media resource coordinator for the school system. Prior to Douglas County High School, she worked in Missouri as a media specialist at the elementary level and taught 4th grade for a year in Germany. Ms. Herlihy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism; middle grades education certification in math, social science, and language arts; a master’s degree in education for media; and will earn her specialist’s degree in education for instructional technology this May.
Ms. Herlihy said that the media program at DCHS strives to be user centered with the media staff creating an inviting and collaborative work space where students and faculty feel welcome. “It is not the typical library stereotype where everyone whispers but instead it is a bustling hub of learning.” This year Ms. Herlihy hosted monthly lunch and learn programs in the media center. Teachers could attend during their lunch period and receive 20 minutes of instruction on a variety of topics including ways to incorporate technology into lessons and how to make grading assessments easier.
In addition to her duties in the media center, Ms. Herlihy has served as a judge for the Tome Society state competitions and mentors International Baccalaureate students with their extended essays. She developed a self-guided technology training program that was implemented with all new DCHS employees this school year. In addition to participating in the Instructional Leadership Team for DCHS, she serves as webmaster and graduation coordinator for the school. Ms. Herlihy has served on the planning committee for the county level elementary school reading bowl competition, and served as coach for the reading bowl team for the last seven years, winning the county championship six times.
Ms. Herlihy cites DCHS Principal Andre Weaver as the person who has been the most influential person in helping to establish a successful library media program. “He is an outstanding role model to the young adults we are teaching and he is a phenomenal leader.”
Ms. Herlihy will now compete at the district level for Library Media Specialist of the Year.