Mary Jo Thicksten



I seek to obtain a position in an academic and learning community, or nonprofit, that values innovation, while embracing the exciting technologies and resources of today and the future, where I can use my skills and experience as an instructional leader, technology specialist, and learning facilitator to best meet the needs of various patrons in our community.


MLS in Information Studies, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. 2010

BS in Communication, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. 2006

Major: Telecommunication and Film, Minor: Political Science


Nationally Board Certified, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, 2013

PreK-12 Library Media, Arkansas Department of Education

7-12 Language Arts, Arkansas Department of Education

Positions Held

Librarian, Bentonville High School, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2011-Present

Leadership Team Member, Bentonville High School, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2011-Present

Teacher of the Year, BHS STEAM Small Learning Community

Member, 21st Century Teachers, Bentonville Schools, 2012-Present

Teacher, Literature and Composition, Bentonville High School, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2008-Present

Inclusion Teacher, Special Education and English, Bentonville High School, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2010-2011

Department Chair and English Teacher, Pea Ridge High School, Pea Ridge, Arkansas, 2007-2008

Assistant Librarian, Bentonville High School Electronic Library, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2006-2007

Reporter, Producer, Anchor, National Public Radio Alabama Affiliate, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2005-2006

Constituent and Media Relations Intern, United States Senate, Blanche Lincoln, Washington, D.C., 2004

Experience in Librarianship

Content Creation and Management

Instructional Experience

AP Literature and Composition Teacher- prepared students for the AP Literature exam, including close reading skills, annotation skills, complicated essay drafting skills, and college-level texts and writing assignments.

AP Language and Composition Teacher- focused mainly on non-fiction analysis and writing, helping students to understand the foundations of rhetoric and rhetorical analysis. Prepared students for the AP Language exam, teaching research and synthesis skills, as well as other literacy skills per the College Board guidelines.

American Literature Teacher- students analyzed documents and primary sources from American History, as well as performed close-reading exercises on American prose.

World Literature Teacher- worked with students on reading various works of World Lit from all across the globe; worked on deep textual analysis and close reading skills, as well as essay composition and literature analysis papers in various modes.

British Literature Teacher; taught students the various conventions of British Literature, as well as British dramatic literature, and also assisted students with drafting of college application essays, and college-level writing.

Remedial/Special Education English Teacher- worked with special education students of all levels and with various learning disabilities. Taught them composition skills, textual analysis of various types of documents and literature, and grammatical conventions and mechanics.

Media Analysis Teacher- taught a film and media analysis elective course which helped students to better understand how to analyze and evalute media, and then respond to that media through writing and other forms of communication.

Skills and Additional Training

  • Standard Library Cataloguing Practices: AACR2, MARC, RDA, LCSH
  • Grant Writing
  • All Microsoft Office and Macintosh applications
  • Web 2.0 Functionalities
  • Laying the Foundations, AP Language Arts Training
  • Professional Learning Communities, National Institute
  • Finalcut Pro Video Editing
  • Audio Editing for Podcasts, Newscasts, Promotionals
  • Special Education Co-Teaching Training
  • Arkansas Pathwise Master Teacher Training
  • Project-Based Learning
  • The Flipped Classroom


Young Adult Library Services Association

Arkansas Association of Instructional Media

21st Century Teachers Cohort

Junior League of Northwest Arkansas

American Library Association

Society of Professional Journalists

Pi Beta Phi Alumni

Sponsor, BHS Student Library Advisory Board

Co-Sponsor, Gay Straight Alliance, BHS

Information Literacy Tutorials

Finding Credible Resources
Google Advanced Search

Who I am

I am currently the librarian of Bentonville High School, a school of over four-thousand students and two-hundred and fifty staff members. I manage a collection of nearly 80,000 books, along with various technologies and other media. I reside in Bella Vista, Arkansas, with my husband Chris, our daughter Mary Beth, and our Westie Sugar and Black Lab Miller.