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Mrs. Kelly Gustafson Named 2023 Outstanding Administrator by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

Headshot of Kelly GustafsonThe Pennsylvania School Librarians Association announced that Mrs. Kelly Gustafson, principal of Wexford Elementary School, has been named their 2023 Outstanding Administrator. 

Mrs. Gustafson was chosen for her outstanding leadership in significantly improving school library services. She exceeded award criteria in the six American Association of School Librarian’s National School Library Standards: Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore and Engage. PSLA noted that Mrs. Gustafson’s “leadership and passion are exemplary for school libraries.” She was nominated by Mrs. Beth Shenefiel, librarian at Eden Hall Upper Elementary School, and Mrs. Andrea Clarkson, librarian at Wexford Elementary School. 

Mrs. Gustafson has been principal at Wexford Elementary since 2018. In her four years at Wexford, she has nurtured a culture of learning through literature, curiosity, collaboration and creativity, with the school library playing a central role. 

“Mrs. Gustafson’s passion for connecting students with engaging literature was evident from the moment she interviewed with us and has only continued to grow in her years as principal at Pine-Richland!” said Dr. Kristen Justus, assistant superintendent for elementary education and curriculum. “Students and teachers at Wexford Elementary School frequently and casually chat books and share what they’re reading with Mrs. Gustafson in the hallways. 

Mrs. Gustafson is the administrative liaison to the Pine-Richland School District Library Department. In this role, she co-leads the library department and serves as an advocate to advance the goals of the department for the benefit of students. She regularly communicates with her peers and supervisors to make them aware of best practices related to school libraries and to showcase the impact of libraries on teaching and learning.  

Under Mrs. Gustafson's leadership during the 2019-20 school year, the district library department completed an in-depth program review. Following this review, Mrs. Gustafson was instrumental in developing and implementing the library department action plan that is now being used to help district librarians continuously improve. She advocates to district leadership about the role that the library plays in education, and through her advocacy, librarians across the district are collaborating with other content areas and leading at all levels.

“Mrs. Gustafson’s passion has permeated the building and district and has influenced state library standards where her name is reflected and been felt at a national level when she has spoken at conferences, taken part in professional learning communities, etc.,” added Dr. Justus. “It is truly amazing to see and feel her expertise and how it comes to life within a school community.”  

Mrs. Gustafson has been an active member of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association for many years and serves on the advocacy committee. She is actively involved with the American Association for School Librarians, has testified before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Education Committee, and co-authored a book chapter about principals and school librarian partnerships. She will be awarded at the 49th annual Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Conference on March 31, 2023.