Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower talks about Creekview High School media specialist Anne Thiers' dedication and other qualities that led to her selection as the top media specialist for the school district this year. Anne's husband, George, and daughter, Laurel, were present for the surprise award presentation.
NOTE: More photos are in our online gallery here!
Creekview High School’s media specialist can add another accolade to her growing list: Cherokee County School District 2019 Media Specialist of the Year!
Anne Thiers, who has won her Innovation Zone’s title for the last two years and co-sponsored and coached the school’s reigning State Champion Reading Bowl team to multiple region and state championships, was surprised with the honor the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 before an auditorium of her colleagues and family.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower presented Ms. Thiers with her title and the opportunity to advance to the regional, and hopefully state, level of competition. The presentation and reception that followed were sponsored by Credit Union of Georgia, a CCSD Partner, which also provided Ms. Thiers with prizes including an iPad.
Dr. Hightower said, while many in the community know Ms. Thiers for leading the “mega champion” Reading Bowl team, there’s much more to her story.
“We’re so proud of her and the contributions she makes for kids and adults and the culture she creates,” he said of Ms. Thiers, a 15-year educator who earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 2004, followed by master’s and specialist degrees. “She does so much, and it’s all about making this a great place to be and empowering students and adults to be the best they can be.”
The award process begins with each Innovation Zone (high school and feeder elementary and middle schools) selecting a Media Specialist for the Year. Applications from these honorees then are considered by a panel of retired educators and community leaders, who select the CCSD Media Specialist of the Year.
In addition to Ms. Thiers for the Creekview Innovation Zone (IZ), the other Zone winners are: Cherokee Zone: Anne Nechvatal (Cherokee HS), Etowah Zone: Pam Morris (Bascomb ES), River Ridge Zone: Jacqueline Zaski (Arnold Mill ES), Sequoyah Zone: Mia Temples (Hickory Flat ES), Woodstock Zone: Amy VanFossen (Woodstock ES). They all will be recognized by the School Board and Superintendent of Schools at the March 21 School Board meeting.
Ms. Thiers, who also serves as CCSD’s lead high school media specialist, thanked the audience of her colleagues for their support.
“It’s a gift to work here,” said Ms. Thiers, who is expecting a second child this spring, and was congratulated by her husband, George, and 2-year-old daughter, Laurel, as part of the celebration. “I love learning from each of you.”
Ms. Thiers’ colleagues praise her for truly using the media center as “the school’s largest classroom,” by filling it with meaningful learning opportunities.
“Under her direction,” Reading Bowl co-sponsor and school Teacher of the Year Liana Howard said, “Creekview’s media center encourages a culture of excellence and serves as a model for a modern media center – full of activity, discussions and, most of all, heart.”
Those activities span the innovative: makerspace challenges, digital recording studio projects, book “tastings,” and open-mic mornings, as well as the more traditional: research training, assistance in locating that just-right book, and offering a quiet retreat to study, read and learn.
With a focus on developing students’ literacy, creativity and resiliency, Ms. Thiers works to find resources and projects that will connect with smartphone-generation students.
“From the moment my freshmen walk through the doors for their first high school media center orientation, to the day they walk across the stage at graduation, my mission as a library media specialist is to empower my students to be enthusiastic readers as well as effective, independent, discerning users of information and technology,” she said. “My hope is that my students leave with the self-sufficiency necessary to be lifelong learners.
Check out this video from the surprise: