A.L. Brown’s media coordinators best in the state
By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS ó They’re the ones teachers and students at A.L. Brown High School turn to when they need knowledge.
And they’ve been named the best in North Carolina by their professional organization.
Katie Bogle and Susan Monteith were named North Carolina Media Coordinators of the Year last week.
They are the first team to win the title, and this is the first time high school personnel have won the award.
“I’m not sure it’ll actually sink in until we have the awards ceremony and stand up there at that podium,” Bogle said.
“This is the equivalent of Teacher of the Year for our position.”
Bogle and Monteith are both licensed teachers, but they work as support staff, not faculty.
Theirs is an instructional role: they assist teachers with curriculum planning, teach lessons and help students find the materials and knowledge they need to succeed.
“We are able to work with the teachers and (know) what their needs are, and collaborate with them,” Monteith said.
A.L. Brown principal Dr. Debra Morris nominated Monteith and Bogle for the award.
She called their work at the school “a blessing.” Monteith has worked at A.L. Brown since 2002; Bogle came to work at the school in 2001.
“I am so happy they won because these are the most wonderful media specialists I have ever met,” Morris said.
“They are hard-working … They collaborate well. If they are given a task or a project, I know it is going to be outstanding.”
Bogle said she enjoys getting to work with most of the school. “We don’t have a class of 30. We have 1,400,” she said.
Students spend their lunch period and free time before school in the library. Some arrive even before the school doors open.
“They’re doing all sorts of things,” Bogle said. “Some of them are checking e-mail. Some are reading books. Some are just working. And sometimes we’re helping kids with research.”
Bogle said one of her favorite tasks is helping students who say they don’t enjoy reading find books that challenge them.
“I take that as a personal challenge. I say, ‘There are 11,000 books in this library. There’s got to be at least one that’s interesting to you.”
They also help students learn to use the Internet, not just as a research source but as an outlet for their own creativity.
“We’re teaching them and preparing them so that when they’re outside of these doors, they can make their own decisions.”
Monteith said the favorite part of her job was seeing students get really excited about learning.
“I have to say that my favorite part is when you recommend that book to a student and they come back in and all they want to do is talk to you about it.”
“By far, that’s my favorite part of the job.”