Swan Valley High School librarian Kay Wejrowski and high school students hold the 2013 National Library Program of the Year award, which the school earned this year. The school celebrated with a reception and assembly Thursday, Sept. 19.Lindsay Knake | MLive.com
Valley High School students, the library is the place to be.
“Whenever I come here, I feel like I’m home,” said Shannon Kelly, a 15-year-old sophomore.
Librarian Kay Wejrowski is ready to help and point students in the right direction for projects and assignments, Kelly said.
For that reason, Swan Valley High School earned the American Association of School Libraries 2013 National School Library Program of the Year. Swan Valley High School students and teachers celebrated with a reception and assembly on Thursday, Sept. 19.
The school earned the distinction after a two-day visit in the spring from the association’s representatives. Students, teachers, staff and community members met with the representatives to talk about the program
“This is the way it’s supposed to be done,” said Britten Follett, Follett School Solutions public relations and communications manager.Follett School Solutions works with the American Association of School Libraries to present the award to three schools each year, donating $10,000 to each program.
Swan Valley was the only high school program out of more than 81,000 in the country this year to earn the national award.
After the site visit, Interim Superintendent Mat McRae, the former high school principal, said he knew the program was going to win.
“I know what we have here and how special it is. I’m not surprised, but I am elated,” he said. “Kay, she makes it what it is. It’s not just a library. It’s our school.”
This award is one of three in the past year for the school and library.
Two years ago, McRae won the association’s administrator of the year award, and last year won the Follett Challenge.
At the assembly, Wejrowski earned a standing ovation from the school and community members who came to celebrate. While smiling, she wiped away tears.
Wejrowski said she was thrilled with the award and gave credit to the students and teachers who make the library what it is. Students refer to Wejrowski as “Mrs. W” and appreciate her support in their projects and assignments. The library is open during lunch for students to study.
“My friends are here,” said sophomore Evan Jordan, 15. “It’s a good place to be.”
Holly Ray, a 17-year-old senior, said Wejrowski is always there to help. Resources are plentiful the in the library, she said.
The library has a large collection of books, e-books and comfortable chairs for reading.
“She put so many hours into this. Everything is so organized,” said Tyler Thiel, 15, sophomore.
Swan Valley School District Board of Education president, said Wejrowski does a tremendous job engaging students with technology and bringing young students into the library to read.
“Kay is one of the most fantastic educators anywhere,” he said.
“Kay, she makes it what it is. It’s not just a library. It’s our school.” – Mat McRae