Store alumni feedback

"It was a powerful program that connected me..."

Margene Anderson

"It was a powerful program that connected me"

Margene Anderson, DoIT, UW-Madison

(formerly at Eastside Elementary School, Information and Technology Teacher, Sun Prairie, WI)

I attended Whitewater on campus for my 901 license and M.S. degree, but it was incredibly challenging as a full time English teacher. I waited about 2 years before I enrolled in the UWSSLEC program from my 902 license, but by then I was married and expecting our first child and working as a full time middle school media specialist. I wasn't sure that I would be able to juggle everything. But our professors in the UWSSLEC program treated us as colleagues and respected the work we were doing (and workload we already had) in our profession. Everything in the UWSSLEC program was succinct and readily applicable to our current positions. The course work wasn't extra work; it was vastly improving the work we were already doing. Once into the program, UWSSLEC was no longer just "something that had to be done" to receive my license. It was a powerful program that connected me to some of the smartest and most innovative media specialists and professors from across the state and provided me a broad view of programming and problem solving in the ITL curriculum.

"UWSSLEC was incredibly supportive in my journey..."

Joy Hewitt

"UWSSLEC was incredibly supportive in my journey"

Joy Hewitt, Nome Public Schools, District Librarian, Nome, Alaska

UWSSLEC was incredibly supportive in my journey from Special Education teacher to Library Media Specialist. The program provided a distance program, allowing and fostering dialog among several teachers with the hopes of becoming school librarians. Eileen Schroeder led several discussions on educational theories and learning styles. Anne Zarinnia believed in the need to develop a program that provided excellence in school librarianship, encouraging teamwork, networking, and professionalism. This program at UW-W was invigorating… and distance friendly, inspiring and accommodating.

This is my 20th year with Nome Public Schools, and 9th year as District Librarian for Nome Public Schools, serving about 590 kids in grades K - 12. I’m also involved in the Alaska Association of School Librarians, Nome Literacy Council, and chairperson for the local Imagination Library.

"I credit the UWSSLEC program for helping me find my true passion"

Jennifer McMahon

"I credit the UWSSLEC program for helping me find my true passion."

Jennifer McMahon, Neenah School District, Elementary Library Media Specialist,  Neenah, WI

The UWSSLEC program has been both challenging and extremely rewarding. With the tools they’ve given me, our school libraries have gone from dreary, cold places where teachers and students utilized the spaces only for checking out books, to places that are lively and engaging.

Today, I work with teachers throughout our district on various technology projects, research projects, and more. Teachers are collaborating more and engaging their students more. I’ve started new programs in the district like Battle of the Books, Middle School Book Club, Camp Read-a-Lot, many collaborative projects, and more. I credit the UWSSLEC program for helping me find my true passion. The library is where I am meant to be, but I wouldn’t feel this way if I was just sitting behind a desk and telling students to “shhhhh” all day.

I’m positive that because of the education and experiences I’ve gained through the UWSSLEC program, I am the library media specialist I am today – I’ve become a leader in our district, challenging teachers and students to try new things. Last year, I was awarded the NORTA award, an annual award sponsored by the Northern Wisconsin Retired Teachers Association. This award is given to one teacher in a district each year. Teachers are nominated by and voted on by their peers.I was truly honored to receive the reward in the spring of 2009.

"UWSSLEC was the best experience in my 20 years as an educator."

Lisa Risch

"UWSSLEC was the best educational experience in my 20 years as an educator."

Lisa Risch, Library Media Director. Holmen Middle School, Holmen, WI

UWSSLEC was the best educational experience in my 20 years as an educator. Through it, I became more technologically savvy, I developed relationships with other talented professionals, & was motivated to be the kind of librarian that truly impacted teachers' and students' lives.

All 800 students at Holmen Middle School visit the library every single week with their reading teachers. This fixed schedule ensures that students have regular access to our facility and resources. In addition to that, we run a flexible schedule, which allows me to collaborate with other teachers incorporating information technology objectives into the regular classroom curriculum. We are a very busy place and we love it that way! We also offer HMS READS - a student group that reads books and participates in related activities together. Last year, 150 students participated in HMS READS.