Kelli Yonker will happily tell anyone who listens that she has one of the best jobs in the world.
As the library media specialist at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School—and the Dallas ISD 2018–2019 Librarian of the Year—she inspires a love of reading and researching in students. And while she appreciates the Librarian of the Year honor, nothing for her can top helping students succeed.
“Watching the lightbulb go off in students’ heads when they realize they know how to research and learn something new—or seeing their eyes light up when they pick out a book and get excited about reading—is the best feeling in the world,” Yonker said.
As the former technology teacher at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, which will be renamed Mockingbird Elementary School in July, Yonker infuses technology learning into the library. Students create “book trailers” on iPads and use the latest technology to research.
“The role of the librarian has dramatically changed over the past 10 years. You have to adapt to the latest technology so the students are equipped with the skills needed to succeed today,” Yonker said. “My daily goal is to make the library a warm and welcoming place where students enjoy reading and researching. This is truly a dream job.”