From 1980 to 2004, Sarah Chauncey worked as a business strategist, system’s analyst, computer consultant, and web developer implementing high-profile applications for major corporations including Morgan Guaranty, First Boston, Citicorp, Equitable Life, Newsweek and for several small businesses.
As a technical instructor, she wrote and presented technical training courses to companies in the Northeast.
Between 1989 to1993, as Vice President and co-owner of StarTech Software Systems, Inc., she co-developed and marketed a report management and distribution system which was used by companies in the United States, Europe, and Mexico.
Doctorate of Professional Studies in Information Management
Syracuse University's School of Information Studies
Candidate - August 2009-In-Process
BA ~ English and Education (Summa cum laude),
MLS ~ Syracuse University's School of Information Studies (Summa cum laude)
MBA ~ NYU Stern School of Business / Minor Computers & Systems (Magna cum laude)
A Career Change Memoir...
In 2004, I made a major career decision. I decided to combine my technical and business expertise with my commitment to public education and continue the next phase of my career as a library media specialist.
I created an online portfolio and sent the link with a cover letter to school districts in Rockland County. By the end of August, I was offered the position of School Library Media Specialist at Grandview Elementary School (K-3) in the East Ramapo School District. (Current Resume
as of Februrary 2010.)
I will never forget the day I was escorted to the library at Grandview. The room felt heavy, gray, and cluttered. I remember thinking – boy does this place need Feng Shui. I wandered around and took a couple of books from the shelves – they were worn and not grade-appropriate. There was a large desk in the middle of the room blocking shelves which held picture books by authors U-Z. There was no technology. I sat behind the desk and thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” I began opening drawers – surely I’d find some clues to my question, "What do librarians do these days?” I opened a file box that held index cards with little checkmarks indicating that magazines had arrived successfully in September, October… I thought, “Every month has a checkmark – all magazines, for more than one year, made it to the library.” I made an executive decision -- don’t worry about the magazines – the magazines will make it – and what’s the worse thing that could happen if a magazine doesn't show up one month? I chucked the index cards into the trash can. With that one act, I felt empowered to set a new course, lay out some goals, and get started. I decided to view this job as one of those consulting challenges – figure out what’s working, what isn't working, and get things on track. But I knew I couldn't work on “school time”, I had to work at a pace that made me feel comfortable – fast.
The first thing I did was get rid of the desk – it was removed the third day. Then I wrote out goals for the year which were, in a nutshell: clean, weed, develop, and automate the book collection; ask for an interactive white board and at least four computers; use my own notebook computer until I could purchase one; build a library website as my communications and management center; and find out how I could support and collaborate with classroom teachers.
Week one came to a close. I knew what I’d gotten myself into – and it was good.
Presenting the Plan
I presented a special story and my goals to principal, Dr. McCarthy. I had written the story, “Reading and Children” years ago. The story helped me to communicate the importance of sharing stories with children. After listening, she asked that I meet with each grade level to share what I’d presented to her. On the third day, the teachers trooped in one grade at a time. We sat around a table and I shared the “Reading and Children” story and my goals for the year. While technology would play a big part in the library program, everything was about literacy, not technology. Technology was easy for me – putting technology to use to promote literacy would be the focus and challenge.
One teacher did ask me if I was serious about accomplishing those goals in one year. She reminded me that this was a school system – not the business world. The warning was a good one – I’d probably have to invest more than time to kick-start the effort – the goals would be accomplished.
- Macromedia Studio – Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash
- Microsoft Publisher
- MS Office – Access, Powerpoint, Excel
- Visual Basic (VB.Net / ASP.Net)
- SQL Server
- Website to support library program – www.grandviewlibary.org
- Voxproxy – 3D animated characters for Powerpoint
- MP3 conversion software – used to convert output of mini-digital recorders
- Windows Movie Maker
- Visual Communicator (Serious Magic) – Video & Audio Creation - (my purchase)
- Audacity – another version of podcast creation software
- Programming for Web-Based Project Organizers
- Adobe Premiere – Video, Audio, high end editor
- Under Development - www.DigitalPencil.org
- Web-Based Project Organizers - upgraded to support multiple schools / teachers / classes
- Digital Journal under development
- Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 - Video, Audio
- 2 Sony mini-digital audio recorders - (my purchase)
- Headphone/Microphone combo – pc – (my purchase)
- Castblaster – Podcast creation software – (my purchase)
- Notebook Computer - (my own)
- Digital Camera - (my own)
- Sound Stage Sound System with four microphones (my purchase)
- Interactive White Board Installed
- 4 Desktop Computers
- 2 Scanners – (1 my own)
- 2nd Notebook Computer – (purchased via a raffle)
- Logitech Webcam with built in microphone - (my purchase)
- Library Automation Completed –Workstation/Scanner Installed
- Digital Video Camera
- Grandview Library awarded 2 grants totaling $9,500
~ from Johnson Controls & Senator Thomas Morahan
- 3 Smart Boards will be put in classrooms – 64” (One in each: K, 1, 2)
- A second Smart Board in Library – 77”
- Mini-Digital Recorders
- Elmo TT02 Document Viewer
- US Department of Education Awards $290,350
to 5 Primary School Libraries in East Ramapo
to invigorate our libraries with
new books and technology.
- Cataloged Teacher Professional Collection - PDF Searchable Web-Based access
- 24 Laptop-Cart
- Elmo TT02u Document Viewer placed in a 2nd grade classroom
- Interlink GoSpeak!- Ultra-Portable Amplification System
- Keyboard & Instruments for 24 students - For Music & Literacy - Kickoff Fall 2007
- 10 Reading Pens from Nasco - to support struggling readers.
- 2-3 SmartBoards to placed in 3rd Grade Classrooms
- Elmo TT02u available to another "Smart Classroom" (to be assigned)
Recipient of the Distinguished Technology Leader-Teacher
April 21st 2006
Lower Hudson Regional Information Center
13th Annual 2006 Pioneer Award
PUBLICATIONS and CONFERENCES
College of Information at Florida
- April 2007 ~ Graduate Student Ruth Elder
~ Research Project looks at Grandview Library
The project looks in depth at podcasting in an elementary school library. Podcasting is explained and its potential value for learners is addressed. The Grandview Elementary School Library in Monsey, NY is described in the case study section. Grandview contains grades K-3 and its library program involves students in podcasting. Students use podcasting in many ways to enhance their learning. The Grandview Newspaper includes podcasts voiced by students who are sharing book reviews, movie reviews, podcasting tips and much more.
Rockland County Times Article
School Library Journal
July 11, 2009
Write-up in School Library Journal
Skype An Author Feature
June 25, 2009
Interviewd by Skype's Howard Wolinsky
School Library Media Specialists of Southeastern New York
March 31st 2006
Workshop: 0 to Digital in 18 Months
Syracuse University School of Information Studies
May 26th 2006
Presentation of Grandview Library Program
Master and Doctoral Level Students
Presentation at Syracuse_University
St Thomas Aquinas - Literacy Extravaganza Presentation
October 21st 2006
Improving Literacy Using Web Based Project Organizer
~ Convergence Blips in a Parallel Universe
Rockland Journal News
May 31st 2006
“Invasion of the iPod Kids”
Grandview Elementary School highlighted in this article on Podcasting
Journal News Invasion Of The IPOD Kids
Arkansas Association of Instructional Media
“Invasion of the Podcasters”, Anita Fletcher
Support from Grandview Library Highlighted
Arkansas Association of Instructional Media - Summer 2007
Received from Anita Fletcher on November 5, 2007
Here are two links to a newspaper article and a tv video.
Thanks again. I’ll remember you when I get to Hollywood.
St Thomas Aquinas - Literacy Extravaganza Presentation
October 21st 2007
Thrashing Towards the
Westchester-Putnam Librarians Spend a Day
November 2, 2007 ~ Workshop at Grandview
School Library Blogs
December 2, 2007
Grandview Library - A Must Visit Site
St. Thomas Aquinas & North Rockland Technology Expo
February 28 & March 14, 2008
Thrashing Towards the
Rockland Journal News
April 16, 2008
“Library a hub for East Ramapo's Grandview Elementary School”
Journal News Grandview Library
Information Today, Inc.
October 31, 2008
Podcasting 101 for K–12 Librarians
by Esther Kreider Eash
Economics Project Organizer Leads to a Business!
While doing the economics unit on Digital Pencil we decided to create our own company. We used the greeting card idea and began selling cards. We used our profit to sponsor two families in our community for the holidays. We also made enough money for a water buffalo for a family in India.
We were just featured on our local news and I thought you might want to see the video clip. Thanks to another great idea from Digital Pencil a lot of children learned a great deal this season.
Woodward Academy, Georgia
Energy Project Organizer - Note form Tenessee
I just have to tell you how much the students are enjoying the Energy Unit Project Organizer. To save time, I have them working with partners, and the conversations going on among groups is amazing. They are talking about green energy, renewable energy, etc., and they are excited. Without them being told to work on it at home, at least ¾ of them have done some at home and their parents love the site. Kids say their parents have watched all the videos. Isn’t that incredible? I am so happy about all they are learning. Thank you for all the work you have done getting this together. It is wonderful!
The Progressive Movement
In the spring of 2009, I had the opportunity to work with Sonny Shore and Social Studies teacher Donna Avino to create a Project Organizer on the Progressive Movement to be used the 10th graders next year. We will work together to identify culminating projects. It won't be long before textbooks give way to this kind of online content.
Going Bats Project Organizer
I would like to follow up and let you know that working with digital pencil and the bat project was a huge success. The students have been completely engaged even though it is taking quite a long time to finish. My principal was in for an observation and he couldn't believe it. He was enthralled with the whole process. I love how the children can listen to the stories because so many students can only access the information that way.
Thank you so much. I am wondering if you are going to do a unit on dinosaurs or pilgrims at some point. If you need any help with Pilgrims let me know.
January 11, 2010: Visitation by Professor Michael Shaw, St. Thomas Acquinas College
Sarah, today was a total delight for me. Thank you. You are a modest visionary in literacy education. What impressed me most was your vision for using technology not as a goal but as a process to support literacy development. Every step of your planning process was so thoughtful by introducing important knowledge and skills, motivating students by focusing on content that "hooks" them, modeling your thinking, scaffolding success for all students, providing constructive feedback, teaching reflection that leads to revising original responses, setting high standards and expectations for all students in both learning and behavior, demonstrating respect for all students (including those students who have difficulties with self-regulated behavior), and creating a total learning environment that supports what I call "thoughtful literacy" in my teaching and writing.
Dr. Michael L. Shaw
Professor of Education
St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, N.Y. 10976