Jennifer Lewis, the media specialist at Indian Knoll Elementary School, wears many hats at her school.
She sponsors the school’s Firebirds book club, reading bowl team, Techno Wizards technology club, and leads the student news team that does daily broadcasts. Lewis was recognized by her peers as the Georgia Media Specialist of the Year in a surprise presentation Monday at the Georgia Library Media Association’s Summer Institute in Peachtree City.
Lewis sees her job as connecting students and teachers to resources, whether it’s a library book or technology that meets their needs.
“I never have the same day twice,” she said in an interview with the Tribune Thursday. “I just finished my seventh year in the media center and so much has changed in seven years — the technology we use, the apps we use and the types of lessons that I teach. That’s one thing I love about the job.”
Lewis has been in education 21 years, and at Indian Knoll for the seven years the school has been open. She was named Media Specialist of the Year for Cherokee County School District in March, and earned the regional distinction in April. At the district’s surprise presentation, she received a plaque, a Kindle and a celebratory cake from sponsor Credit Union of Georgia, and flowers from her husband Mark and son Caleb Lewis.
Among other lessons to classes at the school, Lewis teaches students to navigate the internet and how to sort through information online. This year, she led a Skype-based lesson with another school in the district on fake news, using the game “two truths and a lie” to have children distinguish true from false.
The best part of the work for Lewis, like for many educators, is the students.
“I absolutely love the kids,” she said. “There is nothing like seeing the joy on a child’s face when I connect them with the right book, when they get that book they’re really excited about reading.”
The media specialist said it was exciting and overwhelming to be selected for the award.
“It was a complete shock,” she said. “There were some amazing media specialists that were finalists for the award, so it’s a big honor.”
Lewis lives in Woodstock with her husband, Mark, and children, Katherine and Caleb. Mark Lewis teaches at River Ridge High School and Katherine and Caleb attend River Ridge and Mill Creek Middle School, respectively.
“My kids are very involved in sports, so if I’m not reading, I’m at one of their sporting events,” Jennifer Lewis said.