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Technology Coordinator Wins MASL Award

Courtney Graffius, the Portland Public Schools’ technology integration coordinator, is the recipient of the 2024 School Administrator of the Year award presented by the Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL).

The award honors administrators who have helped to develop strong and effective school library media programs in their district. Courtney was nominated by PPS librarians in recognition of all she has done to help build and advocate for library programming in the Portland Public Schools, said Meg Rooks, teacher-librarian at Talbot Community School and the district’s library coordinator.

Graffius learned about the award in a surprise virtual ceremony on March 28, orchestrated by Rooks.

In their nomination, Rooks and other PPS librarians said that since becoming the technology integration coordinator, Graffius “has been instrumental in shaping and advocating for our library programming.”

Here is a summary of their nomination:

Prior to her joining the district, the librarians said, “our libraries were understaffed to the point that delivering quality instruction, programming, and collaboration was a great challenge…Courtney joined our advocacy efforts and helped us add 4.5 librarian positions to our elementary schools so we had almost one full time librarian at each elementary school.

Since that time, we have been building our library programming from the ground up. Working closely with our district maker-space teacher, science curriculum coordinator, and other district leaders, we have built a library curriculum that includes literacy and research, coding, STEM, digital literacy lessons, technology integration, and room for collaboration with classroom instruction. To this end, she has advocated strongly for flexible schedules at the elementary level.

Courtney meets weekly with our district library coordinator and helps plan professional development for the district’s library staff…Courtney has facilitated several meetings with MLTI ambassadors to shape our digital literacy curriculum. She has led our district’s work to shape our emerging AI policies with input from several of our upper grade teacher-librarians. And last year, she found district and grant funding to send several of us to the ISTE conference in Philadelphia.

Previous to Courtney joining our district, our librarians did not have anyone at the district level regularly advocating on our behalf. As hard as our librarians have worked to build collaborative partnerships and advocate for our work and positions at our building levels, Courtney has worked equally hard to be our voice and champion among district leaders and decision makers. We are all truly thankful for all she has done for us and feel she is uniquely deserving of this award.”

●      Meg Rooks, Teacher-Librarian at Talbot Community School

●      Eva Platt, Teacher-Librarian at Ocean Avenue Elementary School

●      Shana Genre, Teacher-Librarian at East End Community School

●      Rosie Lenehan, Teacher-Librarian at Rowe Elementary School

●      Guerin Morisette, Teacher-Librarian at Reiche Elementary School

●      Bridget Joyce, Teacher-Librarian at Peaks Island Elementary School and Longfellow Elementary School

●      Maggie Leddy, Teacher-Librarian at Lyseth Elementary School and Presumpscot Elementary School

●      Court Caywood, Teacher-Librarian at Lyman Moore and Lincoln Middle Schools

●      Kathy Hanley, Teacher-Librarian at King Middle School

●      Isabelle Weyl, Teacher-Librarian at Deering High School

●      Susie Nick, Teacher-Librarian at Portland High School

●      Leslie Applebaum, Teacher-Librarian at Casco Bay High School

Photos: ABOVE (From left) PPS Technology Integration Coordinator with her 2024 MASL School Administrator of the Year Award and Meg Rooks, teacher-librarian at Talbot Community School.
BELOW Courtney Graffius' PPS colleagues gather in a virtual ceremony to congratulate her for receiving the 2024 MASL School Administrator of the Year Award.