Hale Kula Elementary School’s librarian named School Librarian of the Year


Top school librarian hails from Hale Kula Elementary

Michelle Colte, who has been there since 2005, won $5,000 in cash and materials

By Star-Advertiser staff

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Michelle Colte, library media specialist at Hale Kula Elementary School in Wahiawa, was honored Wednesday at a school ceremony for being named School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal.

Hale Kula Elementary School’s librarian beat out 91 other public and private school librarians nationwide to be named School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal.

Michelle Colte, library media specialist at the Wahiawa public school since 2005, was recognized with the inaugural award for her “innovative use of technology and exceptional community engagement” and was honored at a ceremony Wednesday.

Entries were judged on eight criteria, including exemplary service to meet the needs of students, effective integration of library services with curricula and exemplary use of technology tools.

Applicants had to highlight the eight areas in a written statement, which Colte fashioned into a detailed list titled “The Top 10 Reasons I Love Being a Librarian,” complete with links to student projects, YouTube videos and the library’s website.

“Whether I’m introducing teachers to a new online tool or guiding students through the engineering and design process, I see discovery and learning, connections being forged, ideas germinating, taking shape and flourishing,” Colte wrote. “I see collaboration fostering communication, challenges leading to problem solving, and critical thinking sprouting innovation. Being a librarian is about planting seeds of learning and nurturing the possible.”

Colte received $2,500 cash and $2,500 worth of materials from Scholastic Library Publishing, the award’s founding sponsor.