Shawnee Superintendent Dr. April Grace and Shawnee High School Library Assistant Cathy Dawson recently received awards during the Oklahoma Library Association's annual conference.

Grace received the 2019 Oklahoma School Administrator Award from Oklahoma School Librarians, a division of OLA. This award is given annually in honor of a school administrator who has made a significant contribution to improving school library media services. Grace was chosen for her commitment to fully funding all Shawnee Public School libraries, for ensuring that Shawnee secondary sites had full-time school librarians, and for adding the position of a district library coordinator.

"To me, the library is the heartbeat and the central hub of the school," Grace said. "It is a place for the entire school to gather and collaborate, a place where learning is enhanced and the classroom is extended. It is a place where students can dream, create, grow, and connect. It is an inclusive place where every child can feel safe and feel valued."

Dawson received the Oklahoma Library Association Support Staff Award. This award is given annually to an outstanding library support employee who works in any type of library. Dawson received this award for her dedication to supporting the entire SHS school community and for her excellent service in promoting reading and student activities.

Both Grace and Dawson were honored during the OLA conference banquet. 

During the conference, Lisa Battige, SHS school librarian, and Cherity Pennington, Shawnee District library coordinator, were announced as part of the 2019 OLA GOLD leadership institute class. OLA GOLD is held every three years in order to develop librarians from public, academic, and school libraries into leaders in the Oklahoma library community. Battige and Pennington are part of the 24 Oklahoma librarians who were chosen to participate in this year's institute. All OLA GOLD participants were honored during a reception. The institute will be held in November.