Pine Creek High School Classified Staff Member of the Year
Karla Wester, Library Clerk-Typist and Pine Creek's Classified Staff Member of the Year has tirelessly and enthusiastically been dedicated to maintaining and improving the day-to-day inner-workings of the Library's operations since she started at PCHS in 2000. Without space for visioning, a plan for its implementation, a certified Teacher-Librarian, and top-notch support staff such as Karla, the efforts of a Library program stagnate: the program becomes subject to the latest whim and the Library facility becomes a book warehouse. Due to Karla's excellent work, there has been space for the Teacher-Librarian to collaborate with teachers, administrators, and other staff members (including Karla!) so that the Library’s vision could evolve.
As a result of having created the space for the shift to occur as well as having actively been a part of its implementation, Karla Wester has played a vital role in ensuring that Pine Creek High School continues to provide an effective school library program for the community it serves and the success of its students, faculty, and administrators.
In a given week Karla might enthusiastically engage in any of the following:
- Assist several students in obtaining an interlibrary loan from the Pikes Peak Library District;
- Help prepare the Library Learning Commons facility to host a Spanish Fashion Show;
- Connect members of the Pine Creek Community by: relaying faculty members’ requests to collaborate, made to Karla in passing, to the Teacher-Librarian; inviting the PCHS Administration to tour the Library to see the latest display or student submissions to a contest; or sharing the latest successes of the PCHS Clubs, Student Council, and/or sports teams with the rest of the community;
- Re-direct students who need to diversify their keywords when accessing information in the databases;
- Remind the Toshiba copier that it is here to serve the community, not the other way around;
- Inspire students to read a particular work of fiction or narrative non-fiction with engaging book-talks modeled in a style of oral expression often lost or missed in the current digital environment (we attempted to capture one of them below - click the image to view the video on YouTube);
- Collaborate with the Teacher-Librarian to build upon the Harlem Renaissance Festival from the previous school year so that learning opportunities are enhanced; to strategically adjust instruction to better help students find resources for literary analysis, or to plan a celebration for National School Libraries Month;
- Print posters for the PCHS Girls Soccer Team’s Stand Up to Cancer fundraiser;
- Track facility usage with fidelity; Note: This eventually led us to realize that in the fall of 2018, the Library Learning Commons served the needs of over 1,100 students in the 45 minutes we were open before school (7AM-7:45AM) alone;
- Create a display on the history of baseball, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, or Banned Books;
- Participate in a planning meeting with the Teacher-Librarian and the tour guide for Challenger Learning Center’s Mobile Planetarium, set to be in the Library following week, so that the lessons for every class that tours the Planetarium are customized to its course content;
- Cultivate a welcoming environment to which students and staff want to return again and again
In the words of one of our teachers, “The Library isn’t just about the facility. It’s about the people!” Please join us in honoring Karla Wester, Classified Staff Member of the Year, for her exemplary work in supporting the students, faculty, and administrators of Pine Creek High School!