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2021-2022 Candidate Bios


 Vice-President:


Beth Raff


I am a graduate of Cornell University (B.A.), the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education (M.Ed) and the Rutgers School of Communication and Information (M.I.). After teaching fifth grade in the Hillsborough Township public schools for many years, I decided to pursue a degree and career as a school librarian. Currently, I am the media specialist at Mt. Tabor Elementary School in the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District.


My involvement with NJASL began as student liaison to the membership committee. Prior to that, I was the co-leader of the Rutgers Association of School Librarians (RASL) for two years.In 2019, I was an ALA Emerging Leader and helped to create the AASL Activity Guide, Applied Framework and Infographic: Developing Inclusive Learners and Citizens. Currently, I am in my second year as Member-at-Large. I coordinated volunteers at the annual conference in 2019, worked with Amy Gazaleh on last year’s spring event, and I co-chaired of this year’s spring conference - Rethink, Refresh and Reboot!. I have also worked closely with the PD committee, helping to initiate the NJASL Swap Meets.


I am the proud mother of two grown sons, Joshua & Benjamin.  My husband, Steve, is a high school math teacher & golf coach. Together we live in Basking Ridge.  


Thank you for considering me as a candidate for the NJASL Board. I am honored to be part of such an outstanding organization.

  

 Secretary:


Casey Jane Schaffer


I am the Library Media Specialist at DeMasi Schools for K-8.  I currently serve NJASL as the Bookmark editor and Secretary. I just recently ended my term as BCASL's President. I was honored to win the Jean E. Harris Progressive Library Media Program in the fall of 2018.  I have been a librarian for 7 years and enjoy advocating for librarians and volunteering my time to NJASL. 


I am an alumna of Dickinson College and Rutgers University where I became a member of Beta Phi Mu Honor Society.  When I'm not in my library, I can typically be found at the shore or in Disney.


 Member at Large:



Karen Grant


Greetings! My name is Karen Grant, and I am honored to be considered for the position of NJASL Member-at-Large. I have been inspired by the strong leadership of NJASL’s Board and encouraged by its sincere efforts to welcome all of New Jersey’s school librarians to take an active part in the association. I am especially motivated to join the team to continue the work of strengthening NJASL’s impact in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 


With more than 24 years of experience as an educator, I am a natural leader who seeks to build positive relationships, encourage, motivate, and inspire my colleagues. Additionally, I am very much a critical thinker who thinks outside of the box to engage others and solve problems. I am a team player and enjoy taking part in collaborative opportunities.  


Thank you for considering me for the position of NJASL Member-at-Large. I am eager to take part in what I believe will be a mutually beneficial relationship with NJASL’s Board and its members.


 

Iveth Mollinedo


2020 Ruth Toor Outstanding Library Media Specialist of the Year

I am a School Library Media Specialist in Cliffside Park, NJ. I have been an educator for the past 9 years and began my career as a 3rd grade teacher. I received my B.A. and M. A. in Ed Tech from New Jersey City University and have also completed the Supervisors Certification Program. I am currently a Grad student at San Jose State University looking to finish my MLIS by December 2021. I am the current Vice President of the PTO at my school and am very involved in working with the 3 public libraries in my area. 


My professional career began as an employee of the public library long ago and it was then that I knew that someday I would want to be a librarian. Now, as a School Library Media Specialist, I am able to have a connection with 400 students and over 30 colleagues and work hard to ensure that they have the best library program and experience, and I couldn’t be happier. It is my mission to be proud of my profession and show others the positive effects and influence having a School Librarian in the school system can have on the school community. I am involved in communicating with parents on a daily basis, assisting in running numerous programs at school that began when I took over the role of school librarian and am constantly looking for new ways to make the program better than before. 


I have reached a point in my career in which I would like to do more to advocate for my profession. After the wonderful success of the NJEA librarian commercials, I have found a new passion in advocating for our roles and the value we bring to the school communities we work in. I have been a member of the advocacy team this year and together we have been working on making sure all high level officials in NJ can see and value the position of a SLMS. NJASL has been an amazing organization for me to be able to voice how much I admire all of you and your hard work as well as how much I have learned from all of you in some way or another. I thrive in a busy environment and working on projects and with people that are collaborative and a part of what I am passionate about. I would like to take this positive energy with me as a representative on the Board and continue to work with all of you as we gear towards gaining more support for school library media specialists.

 

Sue Ploch


I have been a library media specialist in Hardyston Township for the past eleven years. This year due to the pandemic & our hybrid teaching, I visit all of our homerooms for library & book exchange as well as teaching our 3rd & 4th grade gifted & talented programs.  I began our STEM program about four years ago and am hopeful to bring it back next school year.  I was previously in Riverdale for four years. When my daughter was in elementary school, I enrolled at Pratt Institute in New York City in their Master of Library Science program.   


I have been a board member of MCSMA for many years, participate in the Warren/Sussex School Librarian group and have attended most of the NJASL conferences and have learned so much from our great librarian community.  These organizations provide much needed professional development as well as networking opportunities.  Organizing and planning the spring meeting would be a great opportunity to provide professional development and networking.



Emily Skrezec


Emily Skrezec has been the librarian/media specialist/ technology aid for East Brook and West Brook Middle Schools in Paramus since 2011. She received her Masters in Media Science and Education from Azusa Pacific and completed her second masters in Technology Education and Technology Leadership just this past year. Coming from the publishing industry where she worked in editorial and marketing for the Scholastic Book Clubs and Book-of-the-Month Club she decided to follow in the footsteps of several family members and went into the teaching profession. 


A struggling reader growing up, she discovered a love of reading through the library when her mother would take her, and she tries to pass that same love onto her students. She believes in blending the physical library space with the virtual world and her passion for technology in education has spilled over into her creation of a podcast, Amongst the Books with her students, who get to interview authors and illustrators about their creative process and passion for books. She has been recently selected to join the ALA Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant committee allowing her to help promote her favorite format of writing to more prominence in the libraries; and she is currently working with Phipps Neighborhoods in New York to help develop an afterschool STEAM program. She feels that the library is the hub of the school, where ideas can flow, disciplines can merge, and mediums can blend to create a collaborative community of learners.



Thank you to this year's Nominations Committee:   

Lisa Bakanas, Leslie Blatt, Ewa Dziedzic-Elliott, Jill Mills, Kim Reber, and Elizabeth Ullrich


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