This page will provide information and resources for the 2016-2017 MSL Cohort.
Cynthia Alexandre is the School Library Media Specialist at Goff Middle School in Pawtucket, RI. Her professional interests include information literacy, collaborations between the library and classroom, and application of technology. She has been a member of several professional organizations including SLRI (School Librarians of Rhode Island), RITELL (Rhode Island Teachers of English Language Learners) and KDP (Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education).
Kathi Barker has been the library media specialist at Colt Andrews Elementary School in Bristol since 2014. She teaches library, literacy skills, and technology for approximately 370 students kindergarten through grade 5. A classroom teacher for 17 years prior to stepping into the role of LMS, Kathi has taught grades 3, 4, 5, and science grade 6, as well as one year teaching a database program to all teachers in a district of 21 schools. She is eager to continue to learn new technology and digital platforms for authentic use by teachers and students both in and out of school.
Sunny Dennis has been the Library Media Specialist at Wickford Middle School in North Kingstown since 2011. Her professional experience includes both public and school library experience. She also serves as one of the technology lead teachers at her school. Professional interests include digital media education and technology integration and good books!
Jennifer Gasrow is the Teen Librarian at the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library in Burrillville. After spending several years working in the banking industry, Jennifer made the transition into the library field. While pursuing her MLIS degree, she worked as a Library Aide at the Warwick Public Library. Before accepting her current position at a Teen Librarian, she spent some time working as the Children’s Librarian at the Louttit Library in West Greenwich. Additionally, Jennifer is a member of the Rhode Island Teen Book Award committee.
Jamie Greene is a teacher librarian at Sowams Elementary School. She has been teaching for ten years in Warren and four in Barrington. She has served as the president for SLRI, as a member of RISTE, NAMLE, and RILINK. Jamie testified at the Senate hearing on the reauthorization of ESEA. She is interested in developmentally appropriate practice, inspiring readers, and facilitating critical thinking.
Sarah Hunicke is the Library Media Specialist at Portsmouth High School and the K-12 Library Media Department Chair for the district. She is actively involved in the School Leadership and Improvement Teams, the District Technology Planning Committee, the K-12 Library Media and Technology Curriculum Team and she oversees the maintenance of the district curriculum sites. Her professional interests include information and digital literacies, blended learning, and independent reading initiatives for busy high school students. She also reads for the RI Teen Book Award committee and serves on the board of SLRI
Kat Lynch has been the Library Media Specialist at Meadowbrook Farms Elementary School in East Greenwich since 2013, having previously gained experience in rural and inner city schools in RI. She spends half of her week teaching library lessons to prek - 2nd grade students. The other half of her week is spent collaboratively teaching tech classes with every classroom teacher K - 2nd grade. Besides being known for her storytelling style of reading books to students, she has a passion for teaching coding.
Kristen Mitchell has been a Library Media Specialist for the West Warwick Public Schools since 2003. She also serves as Media Services Coordinator for the district. She has participated in developing a digital literacy curriculum for the district. Her professional experiences include working as a RITTI trainer.
Karen Mueller is the President of the Board of Trustees for the Libraries of Foster where she volunteers as the Young Adult Librarian. In May 2015, she piloted the Teen TGIF program, a teen only space for the exploration of film, technology and the internet. She was able to obtain generous grant funding and will be expanding the scope of the program to include filmmaking by young adults. Karen previously owned the Barn Buddies Farm School in Foster, RI which taught sustainable farming, colonial crafts, and environmental stewardship. Karen is currently seeking her MLIS at the University of Rhode Island.
Donna Ouellette has worked in Lincoln as a Library Media Specialist for the last 18 years. She previously worked in Woonsocket as a Library Clerk, Teacher Assistant and Library Media Specialist. She has recently participated in Code.org workshops as well as the CS4RI Scratch Summer workshop. Her professional interests include learning new technologies and computer skills to enhance her teaching and assist her students. She is also interested in creating a Makerspace and incorporating STEAM activities in her library program.
Kristin Polseno started out as a high school ELA teacher. In 2011, along with approximately ten other educators throughout RI, she was selected by the RI department of education's educator quality office to serve as an Induction Coach or mentor for beginning teachers in RI. When the grant-funded Induction Program ended Kristin was hired by the building principal at Captain Isaac Paine Elementary school to work as a Technology Coach. After graduating from the GSLIS program at URI she was hired to work as a LMS at North Scituate Elementary.
After twelve years as computer technology support in a variety of industries, Jennifer was inspired by my daughter’s school library media specialist to make a career change. During twelve years as a Library Media Specialist at Fogarty Elementary School and Ponaganset Middle School, she found the advance of technology tools for the education market has been astounding. She is passionate about creating engaging learning opportunities for students and supporting fellow educators in exploring technology tools to meet educational objectives. She lives in Greenville, RI with my husband and am the proud parent of two adult daughers.
Tasha White is a first year elementary school librarian. She splits her time between William D’Abate elementary school, working with k-5 students, and at Charles N. Fortes where she works with pre-k through 1st grade students. She has been a teacher of grades 1-6 for the past 13 years in Providence, RI. She is currently enrolled at URI as a graduate student working towards her Masters in Library and Information Studies.
Bevin Winner has worked as a School Library Media Specialist for the last 12 years since earning her MLS from the University of RI in 2005. She currently serves Exeter West Greenwich Jr/Sr High School. Bevin assisted the technology department in their chrombook 1:1 rollout and continues as the liason between students, staff and the technology deartment to keep devices being utilized efficiently, effectively and responsibly. She has also taught classes for the Business Media and Technoogy department at EWG. Bevin has served as the SLRI confernce committee chair, vendor coordinator and various conference jobs for the last 10 years. She is currently expanding her Maker Monday program by teaching an enrichment block everyday and is planning a Family Creative Learning event for January. Bevin Hopes to expand the maker movement into the whole school community.
Elise is the Youth Services Librarian at the William Hall Library, a branch of the Cranston Library System. Has an MLIS and an MA from URI. She graduated from the program in 2013. She has worked as a reference librarian and as a youth services librarian (originally she thought she wanted to do archives, but she got lonely). She's very excited to be part of this cohort and would like to keep up on technology trends and incorporate new technology into her programs and professional life in general. She is most excited to see what everyone else has been working on and is eager to learn something new!
Sandra is very excited to be working with everyone in this newly created Cohort! She is a School Library Media Specialist in the Warwick Public Schools. She has taught in Elementary for her first eight years, then taught in Junior High for the last five years, but because her building (Aldrich Jr High) closed in June, she was sent back to teaching in elementary again. The transition back to teaching in elementary has been challenging. She currently splits her time between two schools, Holden and Norwood, and teaches a severe profound Autistic class that she finds extremely challenging to successfully engage. She hopes to learn many new library technology ideas and helpful tricks while working closely with the cohort, especially learning new lesson strategies for teaching her Special Education students. In return, she hopes to share her technology experiences with the cohort, too. She wants to make Library class fun, exciting and a neat place where her students enter feeling excited and curious.
Esther Wolk is the Library Media Specialist at Tiogue and Hopkins Hill Elementary Schools in Coventry, RI. She has worked in the Coventry Public Schools for 19 years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She started her library career at the Newport Public Library, where she still works as a Sunday Reference Librarian. In addition to being a librarian she volunteers as an emergency medical technician and enjoys digital photography.
Anne has served as Early Childhood Coordinator and Children’s Librarian at Providence Public Library since 2010. She is also an adjunct professor at the Community College of Rhode Island, teaching courses in Early Childhood Education. Since arriving on the library scene, Anne has created unique programming experiences for young children, worked on the development of the Chace Children’s Discovery Library and presented to a variety of audiences on current topics of concern to librarians, educators and families. Professionally, Anne is interested in building curiosity, creativity and collaboration in her young patrons through new and innovative programs.
Lori Tait is the Youth Services Coordinator with the Libraries of Foster. She enjoys creating literature and media based programs for children, while fostering independent learning. Most recently, she began an after school children's theater group and a new literature/media based program called The Story Crafters, for grades K to 5. She also runs the current minecraft and preschool program. A graduate of Boston University, her professional experience includes working as a public school teacher. Her interests include maker space, literature/technology integration and community outreach.