Lora Koehler, Media Specialist, Hammond Middle School
November 2nd, 2017
Hammond Middle School Media Specialist Lora Koehler is most driven by encouraging collaboration and providing access. “My vision for the space is to serve as a resource for staff and students to meet their learning needs, whatever those are,” Koehler said. Koehler believes media centers should serve as safe havens and has worked hard to make the space–which sits in the middle of the building with no doors–as welcoming as possible. Students can read in cushy chairs, use the collaborative puzzle table, print papers during homeroom time and come in during recess.
“We are lucky to have someone who values students as much as Lora values students,” said Hammond Assistant Principal Lisa Smith. “There isn’t much Lora can’t do, but what I enjoy most about her as a media specialist is that she has a love of books and gets students very excited about reading.”
Koehler supports the curriculum at all grade levels and subjects, working particularly closely with the English Language Arts (ELA) team. She connects students and staff with the information they need to engage in learning by co-teaching classes on instructional technology and research, collaborating with teachers, presenting professional learning sessions, and helping individual students. She encourages literacy by promoting ELA’s themes and partnering with the HCLS Savage Branch on field trips and in-school access to the public library’s collection.
“Lora is really energetic and positive. She’s made a big impact at Hammond by updating the collection, working to build partnerships with staff, and providing resources and instructional planning,” said Library Media Coordinator Melissa Daggett.
Koehler is a known school leader in providing professional development on instructional technology and is a participant of HCPSS’ leaders of professional learning cohort experience. She’s also a member of Hammond’s professional learning committee and a master’s candidate in Human Resource Development for Aspiring Leaders–Leading from the Classroom/Educational Technology at Towson University.
While studying history and secondary education in college, Koehler considered a career working in museums and archives. Upon graduation, she enjoyed the personal connections she could make through education when she served as a high school social studies teacher in Washington County. She later pursued the school media track in her master’s of Library Science program because it combined her love of teaching and libraries. In short, she said, “I have the perfect job.” She came to HCPSS because it’s the “mecca of school libraries” with the support and resources necessary for a media program to thrive.
Koehler loves her job because, “I get to help people and problem solve with them all day. I get to continually learn, and engage with students and teachers every day. Hammond Middle School is a very rewarding place to be.”
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