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The awards keep coming for Middle Ridge Elementary School media specialist Tammy Privette. Last spring, she was named Newton County School System’s 2015 Media Specialist of the Year. She recently learned that she has now been selected South Metro District Library Media Specialist of the Year by the Georgia Library Media Association! With this honor, Mrs. Privette is now entered into the competition for the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year Award, which recognizes a K-12 library media specialist whose services have resulted in exemplary library media programs.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the South Metro District Media Specialist of the Year award,” said Privette. “As a member of Newton County Schools, I feel that I have the privilege of continually learning and being mentored by some of the most amazing media specialists. The continued effort and dedication of this group of professionals has encouraged and inspired me to reach for more; to stretch and grow. This in turn enables our students and faculty to embrace all that being an engaged learner in tomorrow's world entails—reading; learning, creating, and thinking.”

The awards are even more special to Privette, considering she didn’t originally set out to be a school media specialist.

“I actually didn't choose the profession, it chose me,” she said. “I applied to the Georgia State University Master's program because I thought Instructional Technology sounded like something I would really enjoy.  A few weeks after being accepted into the program, the media specialist where I worked (Cowan Road Elementary in Spalding County) resigned.  My principal offered me the position. She thought I had the right personality and enough technology skills for the job.  At that point, I only knew that they checked out books and read stories.  As I began my master's program and this new position simultaneously, I fell in love with the job.  I have always seen the media center as a great big classroom with more kids and more books.  I thoroughly love creating a learning atmosphere that both students and teachers are excited to visit.”

According to her principal, Dr. Michael Forehand, that “learning atmosphere” in her media center has sparked a love for learning and research in the students at Middle Ridge. At the Ridge, the media center is the place to be!

“The Middle Ridge family is so proud of Mrs. Privette and her forward-thinking approach to a 21st century media center,” said Forehand. “Our Media Center is a ‘happening place’ where students engage in research, design, and collaboration.  Students actually use technology to create.  Mrs. Privette is a true collaborator and a champion for technology integration.  She truly exemplifies a media superstar!”

"Mrs. Privette is an outstanding Media Specialist for Middle Ridge Elementary School,” said Dr. Gary Shattuck, NCSS Director of Technology and Media Services. “Even though she has only been in Newton County for the last four years, she has become one of the best media specialists in the county. She brings some very special qualities which allow her to provide the support the students and the teachers need in order to ensure that all students excel in the classroom.”

Mrs. Privette is now entered into the state competition. The winner of the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year will be announced at the Georgia Council of Media Organizations conference in Athens, Georgia in October.

This marks the second consecutive year that a Newton County School System media specialist has been named South Metro District Library Media Specialist of the Year. Last year, Alcovy High School media specialist, May Xiong, received the prestigious award. Veterans Memorial Middle School media specialist Leslie Coleman earned the award in 2012.

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations at davis-viniard.sherri@newton.k12.ga.us.

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