Maria Frederick receives AASL Frances Henne Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/27/2021


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Maria Frederick, library media specialist at John Read Middle School in Redding, Connecticut, is the recipient of the 2021 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Frances Henne Award. Sponsored by Libraries Unlimited, the $1,250 award recognizes a school librarian with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers, and administrators. The award will enable Frederick to attend an AASL National Conference for the first time.

“In just her fourth year as a middle school librarian, Maria is already recognized by her principal and staff for her passion, leadership, vision, and proactive advocacy,” said Martha Pangburn, award committee chair.

“I am a lifelong educator with over 40 years of experience,” wrote Phyllis Amori, Frederick’s interim principal, in her letter of support. “By far, Mrs. Frederick stands out as the most accomplished library media specialist I have had the pleasure to work with over my long career. She is particularly noteworthy for her leadership, vision, and proactive support of her colleagues. Mrs. Frederick is a lifelong learner and a true ‘connector.’ Truly I cannot say enough in her favor.”

Added Pangburn, “Her work as technology specialist and instructional leader have been instrumental in helping her teachers successfully shift to distance learning during the pandemic, enhancing teachers' ability to connect with their students while providing them with engaging learning opportunities. She is recognized as an accomplished teacher, collaborating and co-teaching with her educator peers to engage students in deep, authentic research projects.”

Working in a small, rural district and being the only school librarian at the middle grade level, Frederick is looking forward to attending a national conference.

“I am passionate about my position and role as teacher, information and technology specialist, and instructional leader,” said Frederick. “This past year has been especially challenging. Teaching in hybrid and fully remote models has brought to the forefront the unparalleled benefits of face-to-face interaction. Learning, networking, and sharing perspectives with like-minded, creative professionals from across the country, in person, would be energizing. Attending sessions to expand my knowledge and explore innovative ways to enhance instruction and initiatives would be outstanding.”

The AASL award winners will be recognized during the 2021 AASL National Conference taking place October 21-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.