Dimond Librarian Honored

Dimond High School Librarian Suzanne Metcalfe was recently named 2015 School Librarian of the Year by the Alaska Association of School Librarians.

Metcalfe said, “That has been a big honor for me. I am very humbled and very honored because it grew out of Dimond.

“Dimond teachers and students and my principal wrote letters to the Alaska Association of School Librarians nominating me and they are the ones that bestow the award.”

Dimond English Language Learner Teacher Denise Roselle filled out the paperwork, “sat down and interviewed [Metcalfe] and asked her how she became a librarian,” Roselle said.

“Mrs. Metcalfe had been submitted many times before, but apparently what wins is if you have a lot of documentation.”

Dimond High School’s Principal Tina Johnson-Harris said, “Mrs. Roselle is the one who solicited comments from everyone and it was in the bulletin to have students and staff write letters.

“Then she asked me personally, she says, ‘It would probably be good if we had a letter from the principal,’ and I said, ‘Absolutely, I can do that,’” she said.

“In the short time that I have known Mrs. Metcalfe, I have observed her manage the library with ease and efficiency,” Johnson-Harris said in the letter.

“I am impressed by the commitment and dedication that Mrs. Metcalfe demonstrates to her students and colleagues. Her energy and positive attitude makes the library a welcoming and encouraging environment. She does not only fulfill her obligation as a librarian, but she consistently fosters learning and literacy,” Johnson-Harris said.

Roselle’s effort was one of the key components in submitting Metcalfe for the award.

“We didn’t find out about it until it was a week before the deadline. So, I had like seven days to pull this together; ordinarily it would take about a month or more,” Roselle said.

Roselle helped compile as many letters as possible from teachers, students, parents and Dimond’s principal.

“We didn’t have much time to get parents and students, but I think we ended up getting 25 documents to support,” she said.

Roselle also submitted pictures and videos of Metcalfe working in the library and a list of all her awards.

“She has many awards and has presented many, many years at workshops and conferences. She is a real leader in the librarian community and in the state of Alaska.

“It was really time for her to receive the recognition,” Roselle said.

Metcalfe is a certified teacher and librarian, has her Master’s degree and is also a nationally board certified teacher, “which is a very difficult process,” Roselle said.

“She’s one of 11 librarians in the whole state that are nationally board certified.”

Metcalfe “hands down had what it took to get the Librarian of the Year, but we just had to document all of it and that is what took so much time,” Roselle said.

Metcalfe said the awards ceremony was kept “secret so I was there, but I did not know I was going to be honored and that was very exciting when they called my name.”

Roselle was not at the ceremony where the Librarian of the Year was announced, “but I just had my fingers crossed. I just had a good feeling about it. It was her turn I think. When they announced it I was very excited. She deserves it.”

Metcalfe said, “Then, there was a lovely TV news segment last week on KTUU that was done. So, Channel 2 came and taped and talked to students and that was really nice.

“That’s been a very, very, very special thing for me,” she said.