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Standout Spartan: Crystal Hamlin

The Steward School
An award-winning innovator 
Congratulations to Middle/Upper School LIbrarian Crystal Hamlin, who was named the James Region School Librarian of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL).
Each year, VAASL members have the opportunity to nominate a librarian for this prestigious award. Ms. Hamlin was presented with the award at VAASL’s James Region spring conference, which took place on March 12. Attendees included librarians who teach students from grades Pre-K to 12. 

“I was so surprised to be selected as the winner of this award,” said Ms. Hamlin. “There are so many amazing school librarians in the James region. I walked up to receive the award and all I could think to say was, ‘This is the best job in the world!’” Ms. Hamlin, who also presented a session at the conference, added, “At Steward, I get to work with so many students and teachers, all while doing something different, creative, and fun each day. I love the challenge of being able to solve teachers’ requests and develop innovative and engaging lessons, projects, and programs.”

Steward’s Upper School Curriculum Dean Melissa Freed noted in her letter of recommendation to VAASL, “From the moment [Ms. Hamlin] stepped foot into her new space [at Steward] and grappled with navigating two schools within one library, I knew we were graced with someone truly special. I, as a former librarian, was touched that she sought me out for guidance and ideating, but she didn’t need me. The space quickly became her creative canvas and … ultimately became home to everyone on campus.”

Tiana Addai-Mensah, director-elect for the James Region VAASL, said, “This award is an opportunity to thank Ms. Hamlin for her dedication to her profession, her students, and her librarianship. She is a treasure to be shared with not just The Steward School, but the state of Virginia.”

Ms. Hamlin and the winners from each of VAASL’s six other regions are candidates for the state School Librarian of the Year award, which will be presented at VAASL’s annual conference awards banquet in the fall. 

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