Students appreciate the attention she gives them even when she’s busy. Her fellow educators praise her unflagging dedication.
And the Washington Library Media Association calls Alyse Fritz the cream of the librarian crop after naming her its 2012 Outstanding Teacher-Librarian of the Year.
Fritz, a teacher-librarian at Eatonville High School since 2006, was selected by a committee of the association (WLMA) for the award that recognizes the professional who best demonstrates the ideals of the organization. WLMA represents about 700 of Fritz’s peers, “so this is quite an honor,” she said.
Fritz is a National Board-certified teacher in library media, holds.degrees from City University and Eastern Washington University,.and has teaching endorsements in K-12 English as a Second Language, library media and reading. She and her husband, Greg Fritz, live Spanaway and have two children, Savannah and Brodie.
Nominations for the WLMA award are made by students and faculties of schools. Fritz’s candidacy was heartily supported in a letter signed by 41 students, as well as letters from other teachers and the now-former principal at Eatonville High.
The students saluted Fritz for the time she gives them “no matter how much work she has.” They also wrote that “the success of students is precious to her,” and she gives them the advice and studious environment in the library that they need.
Margie Hoffman, who teaches English, said she and fellow teachers get “100 percent” support from Fritz with their lessons and technology.
“She is there for whatever help our students and staff need from her,” Hoffman wrote in a nominating letter. She added that Fritz goes the extra mile with her own professional development to continually support teachers and administrators.
Chris Hunke, a history teacher, noted Fritz oversaw the creation of a media services center that has led to “significant gains in student performance and achievement.” She “sets the standard for professional expertise and media-service instruction,” Hunke wrote.
Garth Steedman, who has since moved to a central administrative job for the school district, wrote that while he was principal at the high school, she pushed students to earn passing grades, in addition to showing by example what school libraries “should be doing. While she still respects the time-honored tradition of physical books, she is also aware that she needs to expose our students to new trends” in literary material.
Fritz, who formally accepted her award at WLMA’s annual conference, thanked those who nominated her. She said their appreciation is overwhelming.
“I am humbled and awestruck at the amount of support from our learning community,” she said.
Fritz started her teaching career as a remedial English teacher at Port Angeles High School in 2000. In 20002, she was recruited by the school’s librarian to take her position while she was on a year’s leave of absence. Two years later, Fritz moved to the Spanaway area and became a library media specialist at James Sales Elementary School, where she helped automate the library and developed an updated information literacy curriculum.
At Eatonville, programs she has instituted include one in which students serve as library administrative assistants and can earn a career and technology education computer literacy credit and five college credits.