Members of Wilson High School’s Class of 1970 selected library media specialist Pamela Lipscomb-Gardner as recipient of this year’s Vincent E. Reed Award for Excellence in Teaching, which comes with a prize of $1,500.
Lipscomb-Gardner, a native Washingtonian, is a Wilson graduate and the daughter of a D.C. Public Schools librarian. She has worked at Wilson for the past 12 years, transforming a facility with outdated resources into an “essential information center replete with rich, vetted collections of physical and virtual resources that support both academic research and recreational reading,” a news release from the Class of 1970 says.
With help from parents, teachers and community members, Lipscomb-Gardner has established an electronic archive of Wilson’s history. She also developed a literary program at the school that has included visits by renowned young adult authors such as Brandon Sanderson, Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas to conduct writing workshops and book readings.
“I became a librarian because, as such, I can support children throughout their entire time in a school,” she says in the news release. “We, librarians, don’t give a grade but are ever available to support students in accomplishing the tasks and assignments they need in order to earn that grade.”
Established in 2000, the Reed Award is given each year to an outstanding faculty member at Wilson High School. Reed served as principal at Wilson from 1968-69 and went on to become superintendent of the D.C. Public Schools and assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education.