Media Specialist of the Year 2019

Jennifer Baker Selected as DCSS Media Specialist of the Year
Posted on 03/26/2019

“I start with an open door policy. I believe teachers and students must feel safe and invited in order to develop a positive partnership. It is important to greet every person who walks through our doors with a smile and by name. Students and teachers need to feel valued in the media center before they are open to working with us.”

This was how the new Douglas County School System Media Specialist of the Year Jennifer Baker answered a question about building collaborative partnerships that positively impact teachers and students.

Valued for her ideas and vision, Ms. Baker has served on various leadership teams at Mason Creek Elementary, Burnett Elementary, and now Mason Creek Middle School. She has won numerous grants for her literacy projects. One of her pet projects, the Lunch Bunch Book Club, has been featured in several publications, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and has inspired media specialists in Douglas County and surrounding areas to start a lunchtime book club at their schools.

Ms. Baker also sponsors monthly contests for students revolving around a particular season or book. Projects are displayed in the media center trophy case and voted on by students and teachers. Interactive bulletin boards featuring student work and pictures line the hallways and media center to engage students in literacy.

In the Mason Creek Middle School media center, students can retreat to a quiet spot to read on futons, rugs, and pillows. Active students can “ride and read” on the two recumbent bikes or complete assignments while riding the laptop bikes. Books are arranged much like a bookstore by genre, making it easier for students to find books that interest them.

Ms. Baker is quick to give credit to her media clerk for the success of the media center at Mason Creek Middle School. In addition to keeping the media center neat and organized, Carla Seabrook embraces Ms. Baker’s vision of making the media center a warm and welcoming environment. She greets students and teachers with a smile every day.

“Our media center is truly the heart of the school,” said Ms. Baker. “It is a safe place where students and teachers can come and relax, collaborate, study, read, or engage with others.” 

Jennifer Baker, right, is pictured with 7th grade student Ava Bunn. Ava is an intern in the media center and enjoys keeping the media center orderly by checking in and shelving books.

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