Gwinnett names Media Specialist of the Year

Gwinnett names Media Specialist of the Year

Louise Doughty of Frank N. Osborne Middle is Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Media Specialist of the Year. Ms. Doughty was chosen for her leadership in using technology to expand access to and uses of information and her use of innovative techniques to provide media services.

When Osborne Middle opened in August 2004, Ms. Doughty had an opportunity to launch several new programs and initiatives to improve information literacy for students, to support her classroom colleagues in enhancing their own information literacy, and to encourage a climate of “reading enthusiasm.”

Ms. Doughty collaborates with teaching teams at each grade level to plan research activities to increase students’ information literacy. Sixth graders learn basic research skills and organize their information in note form. While studying Africa, 7th graders improve research techniques, then create PowerPoint projects. Under Ms. Doughty’s guidance, 8th graders use successful search strategies to locate information on colleges and careers. They refine their research skills in preparation for independent research in high school.

Ms. Doughty created and chaired a Reading Council. Together, members created a schoolwide reading program— “Take Flight – Read Every Night.” Both student and staff participants spend 20 minutes in independent reading each school day for a total of 100 minutes a week and 900 minutes of independent reading per grading period. The program has close to 100% participation, with 1,114 of 1,848 students exceeding the 900-minute mark in a recent nine-week period.

Another successful project involved collaboration with the Osborne basketball program. Ms. Doughty and the basketball coaches developed a staff book study of “No Excuses,” the inspirational biography of Kyle Maynard, a Gwinnett County graduate. She also invited the players and cheerleaders to make READ posters to display in the hallways. Their posters are generating excitement for both the basketball season and books.

In addition to these reading initiatives, Ms. Doughty has created “Hawkeye News,” a weekly video broadcast. She also has worked with the school’s PTA and administrators to provide Osborne parents with technology training workshops on Internet safety and the prevention of cyberbullying.

“We are so proud that Louise Doughty was selected as Media Specialist of the Year for 2006,” says Faye Curlee, Media and Information Services director. “She is truly a role model for all media specialists in Gwinnett County. Her professionalism and knowledge of the media program has extended beyond her school as she participates in GCPS and state media program events. We recommend that graduate students intern with Louise, and they always complete their internship saying they learned from the best. We are excited to have Louise represent GCPS at the district level for GLMA district IV media specialist of the year.”

Prior to the opening of Osborne Middle, Ms. Doughty served as the media specialist for Creekland Middle (1996-2004) and its predecessor, Lawrenceville Middle (1985-86). During her tenure at Creekland, the school was recognized with the state’s 2003 Middle School Media Program Award. She also was a media specialist at the elementary school level in Florida. Ms. Doughty holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Library Media, and a specialist’s degree in Library Media Technology.

A member of the Georgia Library Media Association, the Georgia Reading Association, and the Gwinnett County Reading Council, Ms. Doughty uses her professional knowledge and leadership skills to help others in her field. She is a mentor for media specialist interns and new media specialists in the county. She has been a presenter at local school, system, and statewide workshops. In addition, Ms. Doughty created a training module for Georgia media specialists for the state Department of Education.

As the system winner, Ms. Doughty next competes at the state District level for the chance to become Georgia School Library Media Specialist of the Year. The Georgia School Library Media Specialist of the Year competition is sponsored by the Georgia Library Media Association.