Gretchen has been Head Librarian at Kilmer Middle School for the past 13 years; she is finally exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. She loves teaching information literacy and critical thinking skills, sharing young adult literature, and collaborating with teachers to plan hands-on engaging lessons.
Recently selected as a member of the very first AASL Induction Program Cohort and awarded 2016 Virginia School Librarian of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Librarians, Gretchen is committed to professional development and leadership. She was selected by colleagues as a member of Kilmer’s Faculty Advisory Committee to the Principal, serves on the Kilmer Instructional Leadership Team, the Kilmer Literacy Team, and actively participates in local "edcamps," bringing this innovative model to Kilmer as a school-based professional development experience. At the county level, she has been a member of the Fairfax County Public School Library Vanguard Committee, a group of librarians committed to sharing best practices with librarians throughout the district. In 2014, she established the Kilmer Makerspace in the library--among the first of its kind in her school district--to help her students create, invent, and learn.
Together with colleagues from around the state, she has worked to revive #vaslchat, a monthly Twitter chat for Virginia school librarians. Gretchen and her collaborator, Corey Thornblad, developed the website and blog BubbleUp Classroom with the aim to share instructional ideas for writing, critical thinking, and creativity in all classrooms. She has presented with colleagues at conferences on the national, regional, state, and local levels, including ASCD Empower, American Association of School Librarians, Computers in Libraries, Virginia Association for School Librarians, the Virginia Council for the Social Studies annual conferences, as well as at county-wide in-services and events. Currently Gretchen strives to serve her profession as the Social Media Chair for the Virginia Association of School Librarians.
Gretchen’s previous experience includes working as the Education & Outreach Coordinator at the New York Academy of Medicine Library where she managed the Junior Fellows program for middle and high school students interested in health and medical fields, supported the research interests of Academy divisions, and offered training to the public. Gretchen also worked as a corporate librarian at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in New Brunswick, NJ, where she operated a full-service library for regulatory professionals worldwide. Prior to J&J, she was as part of the library team at Grey Advertising in New York.
Gretchen holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Boston College and a Master of Library Studies from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She attended McLean High School in Fairfax County and is proud to now teach students in the same school district from which she graduated. Outside of work, Gretchen loves spending time with friends and family, including her husband and her two boys.