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One for the books

Amy Rominiecki, Seneca Library Media Specialist, awarded Educational Services Professional of the Year title

Amy Rominiecki sits in the library, where she works as the Library Media Specialist. Rominiecki is also the business manager for the Spring Musical and Fall Drama, in addition to advising three clubs, where she’s able to think creatively and help students come up with solutions. Photo: Krista Cerminaro, The Sun

By Krista Cerminaro

At Seneca High School’s media center, students can find shelves upon shelves lined with books of all different sizes and subjects, colors and characters — so many, in fact, it may be overwhelming.

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That’s where Amy Rominiecki, Seneca’s recently honored 2018–2019 Educational Services Professional of the Year, can also be found — bright-eyed and ready to help you tackle those shelves.

“I think of myself as a doctor who’s prescribing a book for a kid,” Rominiecki, Seneca’s library media specialist, joked. Rominiecki particularly enjoys the wide span of subjects she gets to engage students in.

“I kind of didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated from college, and I contacted a teacher I had in high school, and said, ‘what do you think I should do?’ And he said, ‘I think you would be a great teacher. And so, I started to think, ‘OK — what subject would I like to teach?’” Rominiecki explained. “I have so many interests in so many different things that I started to look into the library program at Drexel, because in that capacity, you get to work with every subject. I’ll work with a science teacher on the same day I’ll work with a business teacher, as I’ll work with an English teacher — and so I get all of those different fields of study, but I’m helping kids research what they’re interested in.”

Rominiecki spends her days busily managing the library’s budget, ordering books, ordering supplies, helping students with independent reading choices or tech support when needed and collaborating with teachers.

“It’s really a very busy day,” she explained.

Because the Educational Services Professional of the Year award has been around for just four years, Rominiecki is only the fourth person to be recognized — which she said is an honor in itself.

“My coworkers are who nominated me for it, so knowing that they feel strongly that I’m someone who stands out, someone who they can count on and they can trust, it’s really beyond words,” Rominiecki said. “Just an amazing honor.”

Rominiecki credited the library’s appeal to her fellow Media Center specialists, noting the diversity among her coworkers is what helps attract different types of students to the library.

“I have two partners in the library — Kathy [Donaghue] and Beth [Strittmatter] — and we’re all very different people, and so I think that that’s one of the strengths of our library, because Kathy is really sports-minded, and she’s very energetic, so those types of kids are attracted to her. And then we have Beth, who’s kind of in the middle,” Rominiecki said. “Quieter kids, they’re more attracted to me.”

“We like to say that our library has a place for everybody,” she continued. “I think that also goes toward us — we’re all kind of diverse.”

Amy Rominiecki browses through books at Seneca High School’s Media Center, where she works. Rominiecki said when students don’t like to read, she tries to match them a book they may be interested in based upon their interests, such as video games or skateboarding. Photo: Krista Cerminaro, The Sun

When she’s not helping students in the Media Center, Rominiecki is advising the school’s literary magazine, Knowledge Bowl team, the Amnesty International Club or serving as the business manager for the Spring Musical and Fall Drama. Rominiecki said being involved in those clubs is one additional way she’s been able to connect with students.

“I grow so close to them through that, because of course through academic stuff I interact with them,” Rominiecki explained. “[But] after school activities, it’s more of a social atmosphere.”

Rominiecki, who’s been at Seneca for 14 years, described her Seneca family as just that — a family. “It is a very tight-knit group of people, not just my fellow teachers and staff members, but also the kids.”


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