COVINGTON — South Salem Elementary School media specialist Meghen Bassel is Newton County School System’s 2020 Media Specialist of the Year.
The Library Media Specialist of the Year Award recognizes individual excellence in the library media field through service to students, teachers and community at the K-12 levels.
Bassel will now represent Newton County Schools in the South Metro District Library Media Specialist of the Year competition, part of the Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year program.
Bassel, Ali Geigerman, media specialist at Newton County Theme School, and Toneicya Parrott, media specialist at Live Oak Elementary, were this year’s finalists for the district award.
“I am extremely honored to have been named the 2020 NCSS Media Specialist of the Year,” said Bassel. “The district has a very talented group of teachers and media specialists, and I feel truly blessed to work and learn from so many skilled people. I feel fortunate to be a part of the lives of my students!”
For Bassel, the honor is even more special because she did not originally set out to become a school media specialist.
“After 11 years as a software engineer, I wanted a more internally rewarding career,” Bassel explained. “It was my goal to be able to work with children in a position that allowed me to encourage their dreams and prepare them for their future. I was able to work with a number of media specialists and saw what an important role they play in the lives of students and staff members. It was then that I realized what my calling was. I absolutely love my job and can’t see myself doing anything else!”
Bassel earned her bachelor of science in computer science, a master of education in school library media, and an education specialist in instructional technology and school library media, all from the University of West Georgia. Her Media Specialist of the Year essay and application packet will now be reviewed by the GLMA South Metro District selection committee, who will select a regional winner.
“Meghen Bassel is a dynamic library media specialist and caring educator,” said Dr. Adam Phyall, director of Technology and Media Services for NCSS. “I am overjoyed to highlight the work that Meghen Bassel is doing at South Salem. Mrs. Bassel has transformed her space into a warm and inviting space for all learners and she has brought her unique approach to servicing our students with the use of a therapy dog in her library learning commons. This program has provided our students with the support needed to become empowered readers. We congratulate her on this much-deserved award.”
“Congratulations to Mrs. Bassel on this very deserving recognition,” added Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County School System. “I know she will represent her school and our district well at the regional competition.