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Media specialist gets top Ga. honors
As far as Linda Davis knew, her trip to Macon last week was to be recognized as the school media specialist of the year by the Georgia Council of Media Organizations for the district encompassing Glynn County.

She was taken aback when she got there and saw her current principal, Risley Middle School's Lori Joiner, her past principal, Needwood Middle School's Jim Pulos, and Superintendent Howard Mann at the conference.

They wanted to be there when she was named Library Media Specialist of the Year for the entire state.

"It was quite a wonderful surprise," Davis said. "It feels really nice. It was heartwarming to have (Pulos, Joiner and Mann) there with me."

To earn the award, Davis, media specialist at Risley Middle School, has to run an exemplary media center that promotes literature and reading to students, uses technology to enhance instruction and collaborates often with teachers.

Today's media specialist is not your mother's librarian, Davis said.

"It hasn't been that in a long time," she said.

She must be well versed in curriculum standards, know how to use various media in ways that will help students achieve and choose reading lists for them.

A good media specialist is one who enjoys her work, Davis said.

"You must love what you do and be excited about a challenge," Davis said. "Working with students and teachers in an ever-changing landscape of educational reform and technological advancement is both challenging and rewarding. Every day provides an opportunity to learn, grow and help others succeed."

Being named media specialist of the year will only drive her to do better.

"It makes you want to work even harder," Davis said.

That response does not surprise Mann, who worked with Davis when he was an assistant principal at Needwood when it opened in 1996.

"Nobody cares more or works harder than (Davis)," Mann said.

After working at Needwood for more than a decade, Davis took her experience to Risley Middle School, which opened its doors in August. Already, the media center there is a well oiled machine, Mann said.

"She is an extremely hard worker and she develops great relationships with students and teachers," Mann said. "We are all proud of her and we are so pleased to have her in Glynn County."

The Georgia Council of Media Organizations is comprised of the Georgia Association for Instructional Technology, Georgia Library Association, Georgia Library Media Association and Southeastern Library Association.

Davis said there are no specific duties attached to winning the award, but she has agreed to be a mentor for instructional technology students attending Valdosta State University.



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