King School welcomed Leigh Roberts from John Thomas Day School as its new Library Media Specialist this year. Roberts will be working with students in PreK through Grade 5 and will be based in the Lower School Library.
What did you do before coming to King?
Before coming to King, I taught at the John Thomas Dye School (JTD), a small, private K-6 school in Los Angeles. For my first 13 years, I was a third grade classroom teacher, and for the most recent three years, I served as the school’s librarian. At JTD, I loved working with students, faculty, and parents in various capacities, including serving as the fifth and sixth grade debate coach, the fourth grade girls’ basketball and volleyball coach, and the Director of the Mentor Program. I was also fortunate to sit on various committees, including the Head of School Search Committee. Like King School, JTD was home to many wonderful families, a beautiful campus, and a commitment to helping children meet their fullest academic and personal achievement.
Tell us about your role as the Library Media Specialist.
As the Lower School Library Media Specialist, I work with each class, PreK through Grade 5, once a week. I am passionate about the power of books and look forward to nurturing our young readers’ love of literature by exposing them to loads of fabulous stories and talented authors and illustrators. Additionally, I am excited to support classroom units of study through literature and digital resources. Helping students develop effective, safe, and responsible research and digital literacy skills is one of our primary goals in the Lower School. Lastly, we are excited to introduce our new makerspace area where our youngest designers, coders, architects, and engineers can build and problem-solve together.
Why is it important for students to become familiar with library resources?
Providing our youngest learners the necessary foundational skills to access, evaluate, and use information is critical to fulfilling King School’s mission. Exploring books and digital resources and learning-by-doing to make sense of their experiences requires critical thinking and reasoned reflection to help them know themselves and the world around them. Becoming familiar with the library resources fosters their academic and personal growth.
What is the best part about your role in the Lower School?
The best part about my role in the Lower School is that I am able to work with all of the children PreK through Grade 5. It is truly a gift to be part of their school experience throughout their years in the Lower School and witness their growth from year to year, helping prepare them for the transition to Middle School. I am also so grateful to be able to enjoy books with our Lower School students, as stories always provide windows and mirrors to help us learn more about ourselves and our world.
How has your experience been getting to know the King community?
I am incredibly appreciative of the warm welcome King School has provided me. The thoughtful and thorough new teacher orientation, the numerous faculty and staff offering daily support, my incredibly kind and generous mentor Helen Santoro, and my supportive administrators have all provided an outstanding onboarding experience. It doesn’t take long to recognize King School is a very special place, and I’m so grateful to everyone for making this such a positive transition.