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January 13, 2005

Sue Ferrell is currently a library media specialist at Truman Elementary in Davenport, and one of the first library media specialists’ to be hired in the Davenport district. Back in 1971, there were only librarians, and Sue was one of the first graduates from the library media specialist program to join forces with the librarian at Jefferson Elementary. With a student population of 1200, there were now two certified professionals to advocate literacy. An educator for 40 years and an advocate of media and technology for 34 years, Sue has been instrumental in writing and obtaining several grants to support the Davenport Community School District. Grants included a $25,000 grant for a computer lab and a $25,000 grant from the Davenport Foundation to acquire a Classroom for the Future. This was the movement into the multimedia stage of technology. Scanners, LCD projections systems, laser disc players were the new thing in technology for schools and Sue was heading the cry of integrating technology to support instruction and to actively engage students in the classroom.

As an advocate for media and technology, Sue taught an Integrating Technology course for Marycrest College for six years, conducted presentations to pre-service teachers at St. Ambrose University about the role of media specialists’ and how they impact student achievement, and was active on the Davenport Media Council. Education has always been important to Sue, and she pursued an Educational Administrative degree from Western Illinois University in the early 1990’s. Sue’s interpersonal skills are what really make her special, her kind, southern demeanor shines through and through and you know she is sincere in whatever she says. Sue’s assertive leadership has allowed for many teachers within the district to receive training on curriculum writing, effective reading strategies, and team planning to support instruction in the classroom. Promoting literacy and information literacy skills is a serious, arduous endeavor, but Sue says she promotes and lives by the following quote: "What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education" – Harold Howe, Former Commissioner of Education.

Sue has impacted many, many students, teachers, and community members. Retiring after this school year, will be a great loss for Davenport Community School District, especially Truman Elementary.

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