Kelsey’s ready to take the reins of the new library

Lots of people are excited about the renovation of Fairmont’s library, but probably no one is more excited than Library Media Specialist Jillian Kelsey. She moved across the country this summer to oversee the library, which is scheduled to reopen in January 2010.

“I want to be a part of the renovation and make the library a place where students and teachers want to be,” said Kelsey.

Kelsey, who is also the Sophomore Class Council adviser and teaches a Guided Independent Study of Literature class, is originally from Morrow, Ohio. She lived there for 18 years and attended Little Miami High School. “I like Kettering a lot better; there are more restaurants and shops,” Kelsey said. “People are also really friendly.”

From UC to UNLV … then FHS

Kelsey earned a bachelor’s degree in Art and English Literature from the University of Cincinnati in 1999, followed by a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from UC in 2000.

She began her education career in 2001 in nearby Milford, Ohio, where she taught 7th grade Language Arts at Milford Junior High. In 2003, Kelsey decided to try something different and accepted a teaching job in Las Vegas, Nev. When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the casinos, but Kelsey had other reasons for making the move. These included a $2,000 signing bonus for a teaching job there that included full benefits. In addition, she noted, people in Las Vegas pay no state or city taxes.

From 2003 to 2007, she taught 6th grade reading at Dell H. Robinson Middle School while she attended the University of Nevada and earned her master’s degree in Library Science in 2007.

Kelsey first worked as a Library Media Specialist at D.L. “Dusty” Dickens Elementary in North Las Vegas from 2007 to 2009, before accepting the position at Fairmont this year.

Kelsey said she came to Kettering because it’s a great school district. She doesn’t have family here, but she does have family in Lebanon, Ohio. Kelsey is married to Mahdi Arhami, whom she met in Las Vegas. They have no kids, but they have a Pomeranian dog named Shiloh.

Driving force is a love of books

Kelsey said she became a Library Media Specialist because she loves books and wants to get students excited about reading. She said her favorite genre of books is comedy and her favorite authors are Sharon Creech and Lois Lowry.

She’s also excited to be working at the high school level. “You can carry on an intellectual conversation with the students, talk about more mature topics, and do more with technology,” she said.

Kelsey has already started a blog for the Fairmont Library Media Center this year. During the library renovation, Kelsey will use her blog to update the public about what is happening. She also wants students and staff to use the blog to recommend and review books and to suggest new materials for the center. “I took a technology class over the summer and learned a lot of new types of technology, like blogs and web quests,” said Kelsey.

In addition to her blog, Kelsey is also already making plans to help get students familiar with the newly renovated library. “I’m going to be creating an orientation for the library in January,” said Kelsey. “I’m also going to have book fairs and fundraisers to add more books to the library.”

Barnes and Noble will be hosting a book fair for the Fairmont High School library from Nov. 27 through Dec. 12. During that time, shoppers just need to mention the Kettering School Book Fair when making their purchases and 10 to 15 percent of their purchase price will be donated to Fairmont to go toward new books for the library.

Kelsey said she’s excited to be working at Fairmont. “I like the school spirit and all of the activities that are going on,” she said. “And I’m really excited about the renovation.”