Leading readers to success

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Changing the landscape of education and the services that are provided to students, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos has served an instrumental role in seeing their 28 campus libraries transform into Information Literacy Centers (ILCs).

It’s a transformation that has allowed students to have access to thousands of books at once on district iPads and the opportunity to give students a competitive edge through the construction of Internet Cafes, which are modeled after library services at the collegiate level. With all of the advancements that are taking place at the HCISD ILCs, it’s no wonder that organizations around the state and nation are taking notice of the support it took to get there.

For supporting the advancement of library services in public schools, Dr. Cavazos was selected to be this year’s recipient of the National Distinguished School Administrators Award by the American Association of School Librarians. The program recognizes administrators who have made worthy contributions to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program. Only the second administrator from Texas to earn the national award, he was previously named by the Texas Association of School Libraries as the recipient of the Distinguished Library Service Award for School Administrators this year.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the American Association of School Libraries for the progress our Information Literacy Centers (ILCs) have made at the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District,” said Dr. Cavazos. “Our ILCs play an important role in shaping our students’ futures by providing them with the resources to succeed and our teachers with the tools to create meaningful and relevant learning in the classroom. Holding this honor close to my heart, I will continue to look toward the future as our work to advance the role of library services in developing successful educational programs carries on.”

One of the factors that played a large part in his dedication to advancing library services was his childhood, he said. He remembers going to the library once a week with his family to stock up on books and his mother always sharing the belief that education is the great equalizer. His mother also served as a school library assistant for a number of years. It is those combined experiences that continue to impact his work as Superintendent of HCISD.