I’m entering Drake University’s Education Leadership doctoral program! I start in August.
Here was my essay:
My name is Christine Sturgeon. I am a teacher librarian and serve as the current president of the Iowa Association of School Librarians. In that position, I have become aware of the great shortage of teacher librarians that exists in our state and nation. I have also learned of the even greater shortage of professors of school librarianship. This shortage, if not corrected, is a travesty for our children because teacher librarians create programs that engage entire school communities which elevate the learning experience of all (from the “Vision for Iowa’s School Libraries,” available online here). I want to be a professor of school librarianship, and Drake’s Leadership program will open the door to that possibility.
I am a lifelong learner. It took me some time for that to be the case on paper: 21 years to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, with another 18 months to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Even before that, though, I was continually learning and challenging myself. Since my graduation, I remain an example of lifelong learning to my family, my colleagues, and my wide personal learning network that I have nurtured by attending conferences, serving on boards, and networking on Twitter.
I believe my references have attested to my abilities and vision for education. At Manson Northwest Webster Schools, where I am in my fourth year as a teacher librarian, I have transformed the school library from a staid place of tradition to a vibrant community of learning inside and outside the school walls. I have successfully led the change of the physical space at both the elementary and secondary levels. But more than that, I have shown by example how the library can change lives. Some examples include creating the first “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program in a school in the state [that I know of!] leading the international student program at the high school, teaching Genius Hour and Genre Reading, facilitating VREP, introducing computer coding at the elementary level, winning grants, doing video production weekly with sixth grade students, and soon, creating and overseeing makerspaces at both the elementary and secondary buildings.
I love being a teacher librarian. No day is identical, and in so many ways, I am able to write my own job description. Yet I know I can reach more Iowa students by teaching other teacher librarians. I already do that in some capacity as IASL president, but I know I can have a greater impact as a college professor. It is your program that will make that possible.
Thank you very much.