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Mrs. Karen Fronhofer Selected as School Librarian of the Year

On Thursday, June 9, 2022, Salem Central School District Librarian Karen Fronhofer was honored as School Librarian of the Year at a ceremony held at WSWHE BOCES Ballard Road Conference Center in Wilton, NY.


Mrs. Fronhofer is just the second recipient of this fairly new award. In 2021, the WSWHE BOCES School Library Services Council formed a committee to recognize the great work of school librarians and administrators each school year. They created a School Librarian of the Year Award and an Administrator of the Year Award. The School Library System School Librarian of the Year award guidelines state the school librarian must demonstrate outstanding service to students and staff that is inclusive of all, nurture a love of reading and inquiry through creative programming, create a collaborative program, infusing information literacy skills into the curriculum, critically review projects and programs to continuously improve them, participate in professional development in pursuit of excellence in school librarianship, and exhibit leadership and advocacy for the profession.This year’s committee was chaired by Amy Carpenter and its members included Sandy Berger, Leeann Hamm, and Sheila McIntyre.  


WSWHE BOCES member school librarians and SLS Council members may submit nominations to the committee. Mrs. Fronhofer received eight nominations from various stakeholders in Salem’s school and community. Here are some excerpts from the nominations: 


“The School Librarian in Salem is an unsung hero.”


“Mrs. Karen Fronhofer is the most influential educator because she is the  only faculty member who actively works with every student in our rural Pre-K through 12 school. She manages and maintains both the elementary and high school libraries. Daily, she does the work of two people with the grace and ease of a whole team. She works to aid and assist every teacher in the building, Pre through grade 12. Our librarian’s skill and expertise allows teachers to effectively execute any type of reading or research project. Without fail, Mrs. Fronhofer has seamlessly integrated 14 levels of Common Core skills into every unit she teaches or advises upon. Personally, I could not do my job as a junior/senior high ELA teacher without her. I go to her when I have questions about which skills my 7th graders focused on during elementary school; I rely on her advice when I need help picking a book to inspire non-readers; I count on her professionalism when I take my regents level ELA class to the library to begin a research project. Mrs. Fronhofer’s guidance and dedication stretches into every classroom in the entire district.”


“Mrs. Karen Fronhofer is passionate about printed text, but she also developed a hands-on learning center, is a key creator of Books in Hands, a program that sends free books home every summer and supports our library by keeping up with the current reading trends. She is involved in many organizations that support reading and add to her craft. Mrs. Fronhofer exemplifies the model of what a school librarian should be.”


Mrs. Fronhofer’s husband, Socrates; and daughters Anna and Lucy attended the ceremony. They also have a daughter, Keenan; and son, Socrates. Interim Superintendent Mark Doody; 7-12 Principal Julie Adams; and Lake George CSD Librarian Mrs. Bridget Crossman also attended. 


During her acceptance speech, Mrs. Fronhofer said,  “I cannot be the librarian I am today without the support of my school. I love my school and could not think of a better group of individuals to call my colleagues. The people I work with on a daily basis truly care about our students, our school, and our community. I am very appreciative and honored by the lovely words that my fellow colleagues wrote. Reading their words brought tears to my eyes.”