L-R: Mary Barbee, Director of Media Services and Technology Training, Maile Steimer, Media Specialist, Jones MS, Lin Wilkins Thornton, Jones MS principal

Jones Middle School Media Specialist Maile Steimer is Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2022 Library Media Specialist of the Year.

The annual award honors a K-12 library media specialist whose program is exemplary in collaborative partnerships, development of research skills, incorporation of technology, and the promotion of reading.

Susan Harris, assistant principal at Jones Middle School, says Ms. Steimer’s passion for reading is infectious. “From the inviting hub of the Jones Media Center, Ms. Steimer extends her influence throughout the school as a reading champion, instructional partner, and school leader,” Harris said.

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Ms. Steimer promotes reading through displays, digital book trailers, and reading challenges. Her philosophy is “Libraries are for Everyone” and she adds books to the school’s collection that reflect her students, while also providing them with opportunities to read different viewpoints and understand the feelings of others. Ms. Steimer is committed to embracing instructional strategies that support equity, diversity, and inclusion and she provides unique learning experiences including virtual visits to the National World War II Museum, hosting Civil War historians, and inviting professionals from the artificial intelligence industry to meet with students. She teaches students how to responsibly and effectively conduct research and reminds them of the importance of media literacy. She has transformed the Jones Middle School media center into a comfortable place where students are introduced to coding and design thinking which improves their problem-solving skills and prepares them for the future.

Under Ms. Steimer’s leadership, Jones Middle School was recognized as Georgia Library Media Association’s Exceptional Media Program in 2017. As Gwinnett’s honoree, she will now compete for the Metro Area Library Media Specialist of the Year honor sponsored by the Georgia Library Media Association.