Western Suffolk BOCES School Library System Honors Librarians of the Year

To commemorate their impressive accomplishments in a challenging time, Western Suffolk BOCES School Library System (SLS) honored three educators as Librarians of the Year and highlighted the successes of the members in regional schools during its sixth annual Leadership and Information Symposium last month.

The Symposium, cancelled last year and held virtually for the first time, is the culminating event of the school year for the SLS. Participating in the program were representatives from the 18 component school districts and seven non-public schools that comprise the Western Suffolk BOCES School Library System.

During the recognition portion of the program, Kings Park School District’s Dale Lynne Endres and Deanna Jakubowsky, of the William Rogers Middle and RJO Intermediate Schools, respectively, received their 2020 Librarians of the Year awards. During her 24 years in the Kings Park Central School District, Endres created and automated the library at RJO Intermediate School and set-up the fiction section in the middle school by genre. She currently collaborates with the Huntington Arts Council and The Kings Park Heritage Museum to bring artifacts into the library for sixth, seventh and eighth grade social studies collaborative units. Jakubowsky designed the library curriculum at her school, establishing a cooperative relationship with faculty and administration, and creating a vibrant program with a STEAM/Technology component. She has since joined the Smithtown School District.

The 2021 Librarian of the Year was awarded to Susan Teeter of the Maplewood Intermediate School in the South Huntington School District. Teeter has secured eight Donors Choose grants and two S.H.E.F. grants for items that incorporate technology, maker space, culturally diverse literature and science themes in books and supplies for her library. She was able to add a Lego wall, dash robots, Magnatiles, Ozobots, paper circuits, and additional Chromebooks for students with special needs and most currently, individual Lego break bags for all of her third and fourth grade students. She has been recognized by her colleagues for her collaborative work in supporting special area staff members in the implementation of Google Classrooms and designing a Specials Google Meet for students.

The program also featured the presentation of the Administrators of the Year awards. Jolynn Sapia, recently retired Director for Technology, Libraries, and Business of the Half Hollow Hills Central School District, received the honor for 2020. Sapia honed her craft as Director of Technology, Business and Libraries for the Half Hollow Hills and the Brentwood School District and remains active in professional organizations even in retirement.

Dr. Joseph Centamore, Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Curriculum, at South Huntington School District, was the 2021 recipient. Throughout his career, Dr. Centamore has supported school libraries and Library Media Specialists, viewing these professionals as vital resources for fellow educators, all students and parents.

The SLS members took time to congratulate their colleagues who are retiring, including Joan Hanley (Commack UFSD), Diane Miller (Lindenhurst UFSD), Alice Robinson (West Babylon UFSD), Cindy Tietjen (Huntington UFSD). Rosemary Becker (Northport-East Northport UFSD), Kathy Leibow (Deer Park, UFSD), Tina Mottl (Lindenhurst UFSD), Sheila Tobin Cavooris (Smithtown CSD), and Isabel Zinman (Commack UFSD).

The Symposium also offered members the opportunity to participate in two information sessions led by experts in the field. Dr. Jen Cannell, Assistant Professor and Director of the Graduate School Library Media Specialist Program at St. John Fischer College, presented “You’ll have…days.” Ted Levine, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kids Discover, presented “Build Cross-Curricular Connections with Kids Discover Online.”

The event concluded with the participants moving to elementary and secondary breakout rooms, in which they discussed what worked well during this school year and what they were looking toward for 2021-22.

The Western Suffolk BOCES School Library System is one of 40 in New York State that provides access to NOVELNY and other electronic information databases that include the full text of magazines, newspapers, e-books, and more. The system facilitates interlibrary loan requests and resource sharing and provides professional development opportunities for school librarians and other educators and administrators.  School Library Systems connect with the New York State Library as well as public, academic and special libraries for access to specialized resources and collaboration.