LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Eileen Wandrey

Position: School Librarian
School: Plainview-Elgin-Millville 4-6 Elementary
School District: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools
City, State: Elgin, MN

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Eileen Wandrey was nominated by her principal, Clark Olstad.

Ms. Wandrey is an amazing librarian who has dedicated her life to helping students enjoy the gift of reading. She is much more than a librarian; she is a key person to the staff at her school. Many staff members have commented over the past several years that Ms. Wandrey is one of the most pleasant, helpful individuals you could meet.

“Ms. Wandrey is one of the kindest individuals I have ever had the privilege of working with. She comes to work every day with one goal in mind; to help teachers and students enjoy the true blessings that a great book has to offer,” Olstad said.

One of Ms. Wandrey's greatest strengths is her ability to quickly locate any type of book that a student might ask her about. She has basically memorized the entire library of thousands of books. During the past school year, Ms. Wandrey refused to let COVID-19 restrictions stop her from helping all children find the right book to read. She created a system in which she had two small wagons with a variety of books. She would travel from classroom to classroom instead of students having students gather in the library. Her dedication to helping children enjoy the love of reading is amazing.

Mr. Olstad recalled a quote from Carl Sagan that reminds him of Ms. Wandrey. “One of the greatest gifts adults can give to their offspring and to their society is to read to children.”

"I have observed Eileen working in her library for many years, and it is a precious moment to witness when she is reading to students and sharing details about a great book," said Olstad. "The eyes of students light up with amazement and curiosity about the adventures of a new book to read."

"Eileen and I have a special connection that started the first day I was hired at school to work many years ago," said Olstad. "Eileen was the very first staff member I met at school in the summer prior to school starting. I can still remember telling my wife that I met Eileen, and if all people are as nice as her, we definitely picked the right school to work at. Eileen would also play an important role assisting with my children in a variety of ways for many years. She is a LifeChanger in many ways within her school and the entire community. She's a one of a kind person with a great work ethic and a strong desire to always help other people have a great day!”