4 in D-11 earn Crystal Apple awards; one is Howbert library leader

       With four sons attending Howbert Elementary (preschool, second, third and fifth grades), Beth Reichart is “definitely vested” in the school, as she put it this week.

In her technology exercises at Howbert Elementary, Library Technology Educator Lisa Schott is alert for ways that students can make use of print as well as computer resources. Example: Infor-mation about the children's book by Patricia Polacco (in her left hand) can also be found online (the website that's displayed on her laptop).
Westside Pioneer photo

       So when she finds a staffer who especially connects with her kids, she has all the more reason to be happy… and even to pitch in to help that staffer get recognized.
       Lisa Schott, the four-year library technology educator (LTE) at Howbert, was the beneficiary of such support from Reichart - along with the rest of the school's PTA - in becoming one of just four District 11 teachers to win a Crystal Apple award this year.
       “As a librarian, it's nice being nominated when it comes from the parents who've seen you and heard of you,” Schott said in an interview this week. “I'm in a good community. I feel very fortunate.”
       Sponsored by the El Paso County PTA, the awards honor teaching excellence. A nomination involves preparation of a book about the teacher, including life history, photos and letters from colleagues, parents and students. Judges are from outside the school district.
       The recipients each receive $500 to use in the classroom and will be honored at a banquet May 8.
       “To see her go above and beyond her job as a teacher, providing experience for my boys and other students, and for them to have fun while learning, is something really valuable,” Reichart said.
       Also selected this year from the Westside was Coronado High math teacher Ileana Del Valle. (Her story is scheduled to appear in the April 26 Westside Pioneer.)
       LTE's are used differently at different schools, but at Howbert, with the library right in the center, Schott tends to be in the middle of things. She stays in touch with the teachers at all grade levels, so that when she takes their students at various times of the day - in small groups, in technology-based lessons, in research projects and even in storytimes with the younger kids - she collaborates with whatever themes or strategies the classroom teachers have going. “I don't like to teach in isolation,” Schott said. “I want to tie in with what they're doing in the classroom.”
       In addition, Schott heads up the after-school Young Environmental Stewards (YES) class. This is something else that Reichart appreciates. Her fifth-grader “has really thrived in that activity,” she said.
       Also a mother of two, Schott and her husband, Dr. Joe Schott, are a teaching couple (he's at Doherty, the district's only high school Latin instructor). She hails from Ohio, where she gained a masters of library science in 1998 from Kent State. She worked at a public library initially. “I came into it backwards,” she joked.
       Lisa got her first taste of being an education librarian while working in Nebraska (at a community college). She and Joe moved to Colorado Springs in 2001. Joe went to work at Doherty, while Lisa was hired as an LTE at Hunt Elementary for a year, then spent six years at Monroe and the last four at Howbert.

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