Donna Sharpe of Avalon School and Susan McRoberts of Hamilton and Bancroft middle schools have earned the Teacher Librarian of the Year Award from the Long Beach School Librarians Association (LBSLA). Both teachers were recognized at the Board of Education meeting on June 1.
In 2002, Sharpe started as a teacher librarian at Avalon School after working as a substitute teacher for several years.
As a teacher librarian at a K-12 school, Sharpe's regular responsibilities have ranged from reading stories to kindergarteners to helping high school students complete college applications. In addition to maintaining a robust library program, her passion to support Avalon students and staff has been shown throughout the years. Sharpe has generously acted as a mentor to many staff members and new teachers, led fundraisers for the school library, and has been an avid volunteer within the Avalon community.
In 2011, Sharpe successfully completed the rigorous program of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. She has also served as a coordinator for multiple successful cycles of Avalon’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation, and as a site representative for the Teachers Association of Long Beach.
“Donna will be greatly missed, but we are extremely happy for her and her new adventures,” shared LBSLA President Angelique Patterson.
McRoberts started in 1984 at Longfellow and Gant elementary schools. She would later go on to serve as a teacher librarian for the Long Beach Unified School District at several elementary, K-8 and middle schools. To this day, she still carries fond memories from each site.
Some of these schools include Oropeza, where she served as the school’s first librarian and had her first computer; Gant, where she experienced her largest earthquake; Hudson, her first K-8 library, which also held a memorable Renaissance Fair; Bryant, which she describes as having the most integrated playground she had ever seen; Henry, whose dual immersion program left her impressed after seeing students were fluent in Spanish by fifth grade; and Hamilton, which was filled with murals, tapestries and stained-glass windows left behind by a retired librarian and local artist.
During her time at LBUSD, McRoberts also served at McKinley, Gompers, Stanford and DeMille (now the site of McBride). During the 2021-22 school year, her last year at LBUSD, she shared her time at Hamilton and Bancroft middle schools.
“We will miss Susan and her presence at our district staff meetings, California School Library Association, Long Beach School Library Association, conferences and workshops,” shared member Glenda Culbertson of LBSLA.