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When Phillip Mickles left South Middle School to become the A.R. Rucker Middle principal, he knew he was moving to a good situation in education, which included a top-notch media specialist.
Now she’s the best in the state.
A.R. Rucker media specialist Leigh Jordan was recently named Media Specialist of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Librarians.
“She is the best,” Mickles said. “Our media center is the hub of the school and she is a major reason our school is so successful.”
Jordan, who prefers to be called a librarian, does her part to help Rucker students and faculty in helping the school reach its potential.
Jordan assists students in helping with research and other projects, as well as organizing special events such as a recent appearance by author Carolina Cooney.
She also serves as the school’s “technology guru,” teaching a technology class for teachers.
She may help with a French class in one part of the day and then help with a social studies class. Later, she might be helping coach the school’s robotics team.
“I feel like my biggest job is to help kids learn to sort through all the information that’s out there and then create new products to share what they’ve learned through their research,” Jordan said. “I want to teach them to evaluate that information critically.”
Jordan has also written grants to help increase the school’s library collections.
Jordan takes her latest honor in stride.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers, people who do what you do all day long,” Jordan said. “And I’m excited for the school for the recognition it brings them and the district.
“There’s a lot of good things going on in the district and I feel honored to be a part of that,” said the 10-year librarian veteran, who has built a reputation as a “team player.”
Part of Jordan’s honor includes selection as an intern at the Library of Congress’ Summer Teacher Institute in Washington, D.C.
She will work with the library’s collection of American primary documents, such as the Declaration of Independence or photos of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s march during the Civil War.
No doubt, it will be a grand opportunity, but she will have Rucker in her thoughts and deeds.
“While we’re there, we’ll get the chance to develop lessons plans that we’ll come back and implement in our schools,” she said. “We’ll be able to talk about things that students here study.”
Those working with Jordan in Washington will likely see why she’s the best in South Carolina. It’s obvious she has a true passion for her profession.