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I Make a Difference Award
I Make a Difference Award
Laura Leis
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Smoky Valley Education Association and Smoky Valley Schools want to recognize members of the community who are making a positive impact on our students and schools. This evening, we are recognizing Karen Blanchat and Kathy Peterson, our Smoky Valley Middle School Librarians.  

These librarians have had a positive impact on the transformation of the middle school library.  They have helped write grants and worked closely with colleagues to change the atmosphere of that space.   However, it is not just about the look of the library, it is their relationship with students, willingness to help others, and their positive, encouraging energy that have made the library an inviting, positive place to be.

Mrs. Morgan King, who nominated our Middle school Librarians, notices the positive bond they have created with so many students in a short time. They make it a point to say hi and give compliments to students as often as they can. They have learned every student’s name, as well as some of their interests so that they can have meaningful conversations with students every chance they get. They can tell when students are having a bad day, and do a great job of questioning and trying to help students. Also, they put birthday posters on every 5th-8th grade locker for students when it is their birthday. Students are also welcome to come help in the library before school or during study hall times.

Karen and Kathy both go above and beyond to help staff members. They are extremely welcoming to students who want to work on assignments in the library. They are also happy to step into a classroom, if needed, or in an emergency. Kathy and Karen also do character lessons with the 5th and 6th graders because they truly care about the students, and how they treat others. If there is ever an odd job, a student who needs somewhere to work, or anything else, both of these wonderful ladies are more than accommodating to everyone in the building.

Lastly, Mrs. Blanchat and Mrs. Peterson have extremely positive and encouraging attitudes. Their positivity is contagious! Mrs. King notes that many of her students want to go to the library during study hall just because “The teachers there make me feel good about myself!” In such a transitional and emotional time in these students’ lives, they all know and believe Mrs. Blanchat and Mrs. Peterson truly care for them, and want to help them be successful. It is wonderful having a place students feel happy and comfortable. Staff members also feel this positivity. Anytime you need a positive or encouraging conversation,, a quick chat with one of these ladies will be rejuvenating.  They also have such a positive outlook on education and our students, which is contagious. They both ALWAYS see the good in EVERY single person.

For these reasons, as well as many others, Kathy and Karen make a difference at SVMS. Their positivity, willingness to help, and their relationships with students are just some of the ways they make SVMS a more positive place to be.