Meet Ms. Kelly!
Meet our Librarian, Kelly Shumaker! Kelly was raised in Colorado and lived here until high school, then moved with her family to Arizona. After graduating high school she went onto Northern Arizona University earning a degree in Elementary Education. Kelly began with student-teaching 2nd grade, then moved to another school and took her first job as a 1st grade teacher. She enjoyed the school so much she taught there for 8 years until her husband got transferred for work. Over the next 6 years they went from Arizona to Houston to Los Angeles to San Antonio. She was no longer teaching and took on the most important job, being a Mom! Over the six years of moving around she gave birth to her son Cody. Their final move took them to Denver just in time to give birth to her daughter Chloe. When Kelly and her family joined Renaissance, Kelly jumped right into volunteering. She helped out in the classrooms and later began volunteering in the library with Ms. Diana and Ms. Martha. When Martha left, it was an easy transition for Kelly to take on the position as the School Librarian. With her degree in Elementary Education and some previous experience working at a library while in college, she was the perfect fit! This was great for Kelly because it provided a good balance of being able to work and see her kids everyday.
Kelly has Kindergarten through 5th Grade Crews in the library once each week for 45 minutes. During that time she will teach a library lesson as well as read and discuss the book of the week. 6th graders rotate in and out throughout the week to have discussions and to pick out choice books, or books that relate to what they are studying in class. The Kindies are always fun and Kelly does things a little different with them by laying out books for them to walk around and choose. Kelly says, “Kindies are so cute when they come in starry eyed and excited! They usually are thinking they are buying books which is funny, but I am trying to teach them they are just borrowing!” In January the kindergartners will get a chance to learn about how they can pick books from the shelves on their own.
There is a good chance you have noticed the decorated wall outside the library door. This is where Kelly lets her creative side shine! She began decorating this spot during her first book fair. It was such a huge hit that she has been transforming it over and over. Each theme gets students engaged and excited about what is going on in the library. You may also see Kelly dressed up around book fair as her favorite storybook character. She makes the library a fun place for students to explore and enjoy. When asked about her favorite part of her job, Kelly said, “I love the connections I have made with students. Especially now that I am in my second year, I am seeing their interest in books develop. It is great seeing kids choose a book for themselves and then pick something that may be out of their comfort zone. Such as, a book that is too hard for them to read but they know someone at home can read it to them. Or there are older students who will come and look for a book that is easy for them, that way they can have a brain break, or maybe they will read it to someone younger at home. It is these conversations with students that are the most fun and really help me get to know them.”
Not only is Kelly our librarian, she is also our school’s Assessment Coordinator. It is Kelly’s job to make sure that we are compliant with the Colorado Department of Education’s standards for the CMASS testing that takes place in the month of April. When Kelly is not busy at the school, her family enjoys hiking and skiing. Kelly’s son Cody who is at Renaissance Secondary is active in the Theater. Kelly’s husband Brian, her son Cody and daughter Chloe all participate in Karate.
Kelly is a wonderful part of our school community, and we are very lucky to have her. If you have not had a chance to meet Kelly yet, stop by the library and say hello!