New Haslett media center director

Karen Anderson took over the media specialist job as of Oct. 28 PHOTO: Connor Wallis

Since the departure of media specialist and online mentor Rebecca Kipp, many students have been thrown for a loop in regards to their online classes.
Approximately 100 online students were managed by Kipp per semester. She was responsible for proctoring tests, communication between parents and instructors, grade checks, fixing technology troubles, getting materials and resources out to her students, and answering their questions.
Additionally, Kipp ran the media center and was accountable for the collection development and weeding of library materials, assisting students and classes while they were in the media center, instructing and assisting students and staff on how to use library resources and coordinating student of the month and study hall.
Media center assistant Paula Oricchio, intervention specialist Stephanie Livingston and instructional technology specialist Margie Barile stepped in to handle Kipp’s duties after her Sept. 25 departure.
“We have an amazing team of people supporting HHS during the librarian transition,” Livingston said, “ Mrs. Oricchio in particular has been a rock of stability making sure that people get what they need. Mrs. Barile has been an outstanding resource in preparing the media center got our new librarian and in getting her acclimated. We are all working together so that staff and students have their needs met and the transition for the new librarian is smooth. That spirit of collaboration and support is one of the strengths of our staff, I think. I know it was one of the things that made it hard for Mrs. Kipp to leave.
Senior Michelle Sekoni is taking AP Psychology and said having a rotation of teachers is not affecting her grades. But the change is making completing her assignments more of a hassle.
“It’s harder now,” Sekoni said, “because I don’t know their expectations or how they’re grading.”
The commute from her home to Haslett was the reason for Kipp’s departure.
“I live in Grand Blanc and was driving 50 or more minutes each way to Haslett,” she said. “The commute was fine when my children were in daycare. But now that both are in elementary school, it is difficult to have a long commute and make sure to be available to pick up or drop off my children.”
Kipp is now working as a multimedia/business teacher at West Middle School in Grand Blanc. Her multimedia courses are in charge of daily announcements and her business courses operate the school store. She also teaches an Introduction to Computers course to sixth graders and Computer Science to seventh graders.
Media specialist Karen Anderson from Charlotte schools was hired in to fill Kipp’s vacancy. Her starting date was Oct. 28.
“It’s a little information overload,” Anderson said, “and the workload is very different.”
Six applications were received by principal Bart Wegenke for Kipps’ position, two of whom were sufficiently qualified and made it to the interviewing process.
“The challenging thing for me is finding good applicants for our jobs,” Wegenke said. It may be taken into account that the position was opened up after the school year had started. Nonetheless, the number of applications for open teaching positions was unusually low.