CHICAGO – Lenny Santamaria, principal of Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School 24 in Staten Island, N.Y., is the recipient of the 2015 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Distinguished School Administrator Award. Sponsored by ProQuest, the $2,000 award recognizes and honors a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program.
In her application for Santamaria, school librarian Christine Poser, wrote, “In my twenty-five years as an educator, Mr. Santamaria has advocated for me and the library program more than any other administrator. He is always supportive of the library program and shows this by his financial and moral support.”
Examples of Santamaria’s support include encouraging Poser’s application for a cooperative collection development grant on the American presidency, paying for the installation of a student-created tile mural in the library, supporting a flexible schedule, allowing for collaboration with content area teachers and allowing time for professional development and growth. Santamaria recognizes that the library is the hub of the school and encourages students, parents and teachers to utilize it. He also sees the value in investing funds into the library, making room in the budget for computer equipment, supplies, new paint, and participation in a program called “MyLibraryNYC” which permits library staff to have books from the New York Public Library delivered to the school.
“Mr. Santamaria is a clear champion of the school library. This is evident through his financial commitment and support of the library as a vital component in his school's success,” said Krista Britton, chair of the award committee, “Mr. Santamaria's understanding of the role of a school library is portrayed through the encouragement he provides by showing support for flexible scheduling and open access. From purchasing extra shelves to highlight materials won in a library grant to equipping the library with state-of-the-art technology to supporting a pilot program with the NYC Public Library, Mr. Santamaria has ensured that his school's library will remain the hub of this school for years to come.”
The AASL award winners will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. The ceremony will be held from 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 27. All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during this recognition event taking place prior to the AASL President’s Program.
The American Association of School Librarians www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.