Friday, April 11, 2014

How I got where I am

It's coming up to the end of the year and I for one am running on fumes. This year has been a roller coaster of projects, and jumping from one thing to another, and stress. But as we come to the end of the school year, I'm going to try to put it all behind me and look to the future. One thing I've been thinking about is how I got to this place.

I graduated from a small high school south of Eau Claire, and didn't go far from home for college. At UW - Eau Claire I majored in secondary education to become a social studies teacher. I loved learning about why people did what they did and how their actions rippled through time, and I wanted to share that passion with kids. However, as I was starting my sophomore year, I realized that there were a LOT of social studies education majors. I kept hearing about job competition and started to worry. I decided I should have a fall back.

Choosing library science as a minor wasn't a tough choice. I spent hours in our high school library during school, and teachers (especially in my math classes) strongly suggested that I should put away my book and pay attention to the lesson. The library science courses at UWEC looked interesting and would give me a fall back in case I needed it.

The classes were full of book titles, ways to promote reading, and the cut-and-dried world of cataloging. I loved it. Another class I loved in the degree sequence was educational technology. We created web pages, newsletters, and digital videos. It was a great introduction to technologies, that in 2005, weren't as commonplace as they are today.

So there I was, graduating from UWEC in the spring of 2006 and hunting for a job. I applied for several social studies teaching positions and a few library media specialist (librarian) positions. Mr. Webb was the one who called me to set up my interview and showed me around that first day. Holy cow, was I overwhelmed. Stepping out into the real world as an adult on your own is terrifying. But as I looked around at the school and talked with the staff here at SCC I thought it would be a great fit. So when Mr. Webb asked if I wanted to be a Panther, my answer was "yes".

That was eight years ago. And here I am. In charge of three schools instead of the two I started with. Having the experience of working with all different ages. Knowing WAY more technology than I started with. And running on fumes after a year where a fire obliterated one of my libraries. Where I had to replace every single book in an elementary that serves over 600 students. Where I still had two other libraries to run while dealing with that. Where I have run (by June) four book fairs and raised (hopefully) over $10,000 for our district. Where we struggled with technology issues. Where the kids in our district performed in amazing concerts and plays. Where our athletes won and lost, but learned that playing as a team was what was important. Where I get to go to a job where I never know what's going to happen, but everyday something amazing will occur.

So I guess how I got here is important. But where I am now...that's awesome.

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