Position: Middle School Librarian
School: Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School
School District: Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD
City, State: Pharr, TX
Music that Describes Diamantina
Diamantina Garcia was nominated by an anonymous colleague.
"Prior to Spring Break, it was announced that students and teachers would not be returning to work or school," said Mrs. Garcia's nominator. "Mrs. Garcia, along with an elementary librarian, Sheila Sinapuelas, immediately contacted me about creating a Google Slide presentation with instructions to log in to our resources such as myON, MackinVIA, Clever, Google Classroom, and other free sites. Her deep concern for the continuing education of students prompted her and Mrs. Sinapuelas to action. They collaborated to developed a platform to start adding information. Once they set the foundation, all of our district librarians were invited to add links and resource sites our students could engage with via a virtual setting and platform designed by Mrs. Garcia and Mrs. Sinapuelas."
After the platform was established, Mrs. Garcia worked with other librarians to start a Google site where her district's librarians videotaped themselves reading books aloud. They also created book talks and found book trailers to add to the slides. Every librarian in the district participated. This demonstrates how Mrs. Garcia displays extraordinary leadership qualities that inspire others to work together in a productive manner.
Her work did not end there. After the first two projects, PSJA ISD's executive officer for elementary schools, Mrs. Corina Ramirea, and the district's superintendent, Dr. Jorge Arredondo, supported a virtual summer reading program, "PSJA Summer Reads-Reading Without Borders." Mrs. Garcia is one of nine core group leaders who have taken this program to the highest level. This program has gone viral in the district. Mrs. Garcia and two other librarians have presented this new program to district executive officers, the senior staff group, the superintendent's cabinet, principals, and the School Board. They have all been impressed with the librarians' work. There are Read Woke promotions, Bitmoji scenes, Virtual Book Clubs, Virtual author visits, promotions to read Texas Bluebonnet, Texas Lone Star and Tayshas books, TikToks (@psjaisd, #psjareads), weekly themes (Shark Week, Dinosaur Week, United Nations Sustainability themes in both English and Spanish), and much more. A new library Facebook page was developed, and Mrs. Garcia is one of three librarians to update and upload new information.
Mrs. Garcia continues to play a major role in this endeavor. She inspires colleagues, students, parents, and the learning community. For “Dia de los ninos/Dia de los libros,” Mrs. Garcia created a site where the Superintendent, district administrators and School Board members were featured with book recommendations for the entire district.
Mrs. Garcia is dependable, energetic, and tech savvy. She is Levels 1 and 2 Google Certified and has multiple Microsoft badges. These accomplishments have allowed her to be able to support virtual settings today.
Mrs. Garcia's degrees in library science and administration add to the successes of these programs. Her expertise manages to bring ideas and skills together to accomplish a common goal, that of educating students.
"Mrs. Garcia...continues to make a great difference to change the New Normal," said her nominator. "She is unstoppable!" She is deserving of such an honor during these difficult times!