Meet the Candidates

VAASL Election 2020

VAASL Election Information

The 2020 VAASL election will be conducted by online voting May 15- June 1st. The results shall be announced on or before June 15. Only VAASL members may vote in the election and the ballot will be shared with members on May 15.

Please contact Kendel Lively ( if you have any questions.

Candidate for VAASL President-Elect

Judy Deichman

I am running for VAASL President Elect and I currently work as the Instructional Specialist for Library Services at Richmond Public Schools. I have been in this position since September, 2019. Before moving to RPS, I was the librarian at Nottoway Middle School in Nottoway County for 10 years. In addition to the role of NMS librarian, I was the NCPS Library Coordinator, a Lead Teacher, and a Technology Liaison.

I believe we should always strive to be life-long learners and continuously seek out professional development to increase our strengths, diminish our weaknesses, and be the best advocates for our profession and our students. I achieved National Board Certification in 2015 and am a Google Level 1 Educator. I attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to further this goal. I believe VAASL’s conferences and professional development opportunities are an important facet and a responsibility to the librarians in our state.

I believe that we should have an active, participatory role in our professional organizations. I have served both our state and national library organizations. I have served/chaired several VAASL committees and have served as the VAASL Treasurer, term beginning in 2015. I have served as the AASL Treasurer (2017-2020) and was a member of the AASL National School Library Standards Implementation Task Force (2015-2017).

I graduated from Longwood University in 2010 receiving the School Librarianship Endorsement and a Masters of Education. My undergraduate degree is from the University of South Florida. I received a Bachelor of Science, Accounting.

Candidates for VAASL Treasurer

Treasurer Candidate: Tonia Eriksen

I love being a part of the VAASL organization. I am thankful that my professors at Longwood University stressed the importance of participating in professional organizations. I attended my first conference while still in library school and was hooked. Since then, I have helped with the York regional conferences, presented at annual conferences, participated with the conference planning committee, and represented the York region as the director-elect and director. It has been an exciting experience that has allowed me to meet, share, and learn from many amazing librarians.

I have been a school librarian for eight years and an educator for fifteen years. Before going into education, I worked in the banking industry as a loan officer and teller for ten years. This experience will enable me to be an effective treasurer. My goal as treasurer will be to manage the resources of the Association wisely and maintain a high level of financial accountability to the membership. If elected, I look forward to contributing to the important work of VAASL.


M.S. Ed., School Librarianship, Longwood University, 2015

Special Education, Old Dominion University, 2007

BS, Computer Science, St. Leo University, 2005

Professional Library Experience:


Treasurer Candidate: Kathy Harris

My name is Kathy Harris and I am running for the VAASL board position of Treasurer. I am the librarian at Blackstone Primary School in Nottoway County. Next year I will be moving to Richmond Public Schools as the librarian for John B. Cary Elementary School. I have had 18 years of experience as a classroom teacher and this will be my 6th year as an elementary librarian. While at Nottoway I was a Lead Teacher and a Technology Liaison.

After serving 5 years in the United States Navy as a Dental Technician, I received my bachelor's degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, I graduated from Virginia Tech University with my MAED in Curriculum Instruction/Instructional Technology. I received my Endorsement in School Librarianship from Longwood University in 2018.

I have been a member of VAASL for several years. I served on the Author’s Breakfast Committee for three years. The past two years I along with some of my students created the author table centerpieces. I also served on the ticket committee last year, selling tickets and handing out prizes. I was also on the Social Media Committee. I have previously held the position of PTA President at Blackstone Primary School for three years. I was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma for several years.

I am very passionate about STEAM and makerspaces being incorporated into libraries and student learning being hands-on with collaboration and critical thinking.

I would be honored to be elected to the position of VAASL Treasurer and would serve you all to the best of my abilities!

Candidates for Regional Directors-Elect

Clinch Region Candidate: Sharon Dishner

My name is Sharon Dishner and I am running for the Clinch Regional Director-elect position.

After teaching language arts in middle school for ten years, I decided to go back to college and become a school librarian, and could not be happier.I am currently finishing my third year in that role at two small rural schools: Atkins Elementary in Atkins, VA, and Sugar Grove Elementary in Sugar Grove, VA.

I received my B.A. in Interdisciplinary English PK-6 with an English endorsement from Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA. and my M.S. in Education with a Library Media certification from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

I was born and raised in Scotland before coming to the United States at age twelve. I am the mother of two grown daughters, Katie and Abbie, and live in a log home in Marion, VA with my husband of thirty-one years, Todd, and our two sweet dogs.

I enjoy spending time working in my flower beds, being creative in many different ways, and reading historical fiction.

Clinch Region Candidate: Brenda Sprinkle

My name is Brenda Sprinkle and I am running for Director Elect of the Clinch Region of VAASL. I am currently the librarian at Greendale Elementary School in Washington County, Virginia. This upcoming year will be my 20th year in public school libraries. I have worked all grade levels, as well as at a local community college library. In addition to the library, I have served as past director of Clinch Region VAASL in 2017-2018. I have also served with American Library Association on the ALA Council.

I received my B.S. from University of Virginia at Wise in Business Administration followed by my M.Ed. in Instructional Media from East Tennessee State University. I am certified in PK-12 Library Media and Business and Information Technology.

I am the mother of 21 year old triplets. One daughter is a recent graduate of Emory & Henry College double majoring in Psychology and Religion, my son is a Combat Medic in the U.S. Army stationed in Seattle, Washington and my second daughter has special needs and keeps her father and I hopping with her wicked sense of humor.

Personally, due to my daughter’s health and physical issues I am very involved in special needs advocacy. Professionally, I am passionate about creating lifelong readers. I love to help students find books they love (that are not based on Accelerated Reader levels) and to cultivate that love into sharing with others. My favorite thing about being a librarian is being able to have a conversation with my students about what we both enjoy reading. In addition to reading, it is important to me to make the library space inviting by providing a variety of activities to make the library a space that students WANT to visit. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a librarian and work with our young students to hopefully help build lifelong readers and learners.

James Region Candidate: Lara Ivey

This is the BEST job in the world and am so grateful that I was encouraged to become a librarian after 20 years as a classroom teacher. I have been an elementary librarian for the past 6 years and was VAASL’s 2018 Librarian of the Year. Being passionate about learning, I became a Flipgrid Ambassador as well as a National Geographic Certified Educator.

As an active member of VAASL, I have been on the Conference Planning Committee for the past four years and am the chair of the IGNITE Committee, VAASL’s newest award that celebrates the work librarians do with inquiry, UN Global Goals, and service learning. I have enjoyed presenting at our VAASL Fall Conferences as well as Longwood Summer Literacy Institute, The National Youth Leadership Council for Service Learning, and AASL National Conference. I was fortunate to be able to serve for two years on the AASL Induction Task Force and then the Induction Implementation Committee that designed and led the first Induction Cohort for AASL.

In addition to staying involved with our professional organizations, I am passionate about connecting students and teachers to experiences that help them grow as individuals and leaders. I would be honored to serve as James Region Director-Elect and help provide opportunities for us to learn and grow together as librarians!


M.S. Ed., School Librarianship, Longwood University, 2015

BS, Elementary Education, James Madison University, 1989

Teaching Experience:

2019-Present: Librarian, Old Hundred ES Chesterfield County

2014- 2019: Librarian, Bettie Weaver ES Chesterfield County

2011-2014: Classroom Teacher, Chesterfield County

1991-2006: Classroom Teacher, Henrico County

1989-1991: Classroom Teacher, Prince William County

Professional Library Experience:


James Region Candidate: Kimberly Royle

Assistant Librarian, Providence Middle School

I have active memberships in ALA, AASL, and VAASL. I am also a member of the Library Instruction Roundtable. I have a BA in English Education, an MA in Middle Grades Education, and finally, I earned a Masters in Library and Information Science at USC-Columbia in 2001. For over 20 years, I have supported my husband’s military career and thus, moved approximately every three years. This traveling has afforded me great opportunities to explore the fields of education and library science through multiple employment experiences including the school, academic, and law capacities. Specifically for school libraries, I have worked at all grade levels from K-12 in eight different buildings. I am finally making my home in Virginia as military retirement is forthcoming. In putting down roots, I would like to take an active role in VAASL and represent the James Region.

Two passions I have for the library field include the ethical use of information and fostering a love for reading. Connecting patrons with stories they love is such a rewarding feeling. However, understanding the importance of information literacy and teaching patrons to be ethical users of information in order to make informed decisions, is vital to our field. With today’s multiple platforms of social media, our patrons need to be able to think critically about the information they access, use and share.

Potomac Region Candidate: Gretchen Hazlin

I have been a librarian at Kilmer Middle School for the past 14 years. I truly love my job as a librarian -- teaching information literacy and critical thinking skills, sharing young adult literature, and collaborating with teachers to plan engaging hands-on lessons.

At Kilmer, I am part of our Instructional Leadership Team and am a member of our Faculty Advisory Committee to the Principal. Beyond Kilmer, I have been Social Media Committee Chair for VAASL since January 2018 – it has been such a privilege to serve our association in this capacity. I was part of the AASL Induction Program Cohort in 2018-19 and was named 2016 Virginia School Librarian of the Year -- the most surprising and lovely professional accolade of my life. Since 2016, I have been part of the team behind #vaslchat, a monthly Twitter chat for Virginia’s school librarians.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Boston College and a Master of Library Studies from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband and two boys (ages 14 and 11) – we like to be outdoors as much as possible, whether it’s hiking, a soccer game, the beach, a marching band competition, or our front porch.

I care deeply about the work we do as school librarians and it would be a tremendous honor to serve as your Potomac Regional Director-Elect.

Potomac Region Candidate: Elyse DeQuoy

My name is Elyse DeQuoy and I am running for Potomac Regional Director-elect. I am currently the librarian for Clarke County High School in Berryville, Virginia. After receiving my MSIS from SUNY Albany, I was an elementary librarian in Clarke for 7 years before making the change to the secondary level. I have served on the Fall conference planning committee as chair for Concurrent Sessions and am currently on VAASL’s new committee for Diversity and Inclusion as well as on the Virginia Readers Choice High School committee. I am in the process of earning my National Board Certification (which has unfortunately been delayed because of our current quarantine situation). I believe that libraries are for all people and am always exploring new ideas and ways to make it more relevant to the school community. This includes collaboration and relationships with faculty members to make the library a welcoming place for all students through space, collection, tools, and activities to name a few. I have also been growing and strengthening our partnership with the regional public library as they are an invaluable resource and are able to offer programs and tools we would not be able to do otherwise. It would be a great pleasure and honor to serve all of the librarians of the Potomac region as their Regional Director-elect.

Rappahannock Region Candidate: Kimberly Allen

My name is Kimberly Allen and I am running for the Rappahannock Region Director-elect position. I currently teach at Post Oak Middle School in Spotsylvania, Virginia and I also serve as the Secondary Library Liaison for Spotsylvania County Schools. I have been in education for twenty-four years: 13 years as an English teacher and eleven years as a librarian. I received my undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College (now University), Masters degree from George Mason, and library certification from UVA Wise. I was recently awarded Rappahannock Region Librarian of the Year Award for 2020. I am Google 1 and 2 certified and I love opportunities to learn new things. I am extremely passionate about hooking readers, connecting with students, inspiring writers, and cultivating mindful middle schoolers. Within our school, I serve on our leadership committee and I sponsor our National Junior Honor Society. Outside of education I’m raising two kids and still find time to teach group fitness classes at the YMCA and lead music for my church. I know very little about the workings of the VAASL board but I’m eager to continue this growth process in leadership.

Roanoke Region Candidate: Haley Walters

Hi, I am Haley Walters, and I am running for the position of Roanoke Regional Director-Elect. I have been a librarian at George Washington High School in Danville for the past five years, and prior to that, was a school librarian in North Carolina. In my past lives, I have worked as a prison and public librarian and was an English teacher. I received my master’s in library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In addition to my involvement in VAASL,I am a member of the ALA and AASL and was a participant in the 2019 ALA Leadership Institute. I was awarded the 2019 Roanoke Regional Librarian of the Year and have presented at regional conferences and served on the Communications Team.

My passions for school librarianship center on advocacy and representation, which I feel is missing, not only in my own district, but throughout this region. Many of us work in schools or districts with no library coordinator or equivalent, often in isolation within our own schools and communities. VAASL has been a strong arm of support to me as I’ve navigated the challenges of school librarianship and as a regional director-elect, I hope to advocate for us when we often have only each other to lean on. I owe much of my library’s transformation to VAASL members and their contributions, and the opportunity to serve as a Roanoke Regional Director-Elect would allow me to return the favor.

Shenandoah Region Candidate: Amy Sue Johnson

I, Amy Sue Johnson, am currently the librarian at East Rockingham High School in Rockingham County and am a nominee for the VAASL Shenandoah Region’s Director-Elect position. I completed my undergraduate degree at Bridgewater College in 1996, earning a BA in English and certification in secondary education. In 2002, I earned an MA in English Education from George Mason University. I was an English teacher for 22 years, the last two of which I spent earning an MS in Education with certification in Library Science.

As a school librarian in the 21st century, my vision is to reshape the role that we play within the school community and to ensure that the library is the heart of the school. In order to achieve this vision, I wholeheartedly believe that building relationships with students as well as teachers is the key. While I believe it is my mission to ensure that all students in my school building have equitable access to books that will enhance their reading lives, I also feel that providing other educational opportunities is essential. Just this year, my library was awarded a $3,500 grant to incorporate technology in order to facilitate STEM education. I collaborate with teachers to design and implement lessons that incorporate the following: Breakout EDU kits, 3D pens, KEVA planks, Spheros, a Cricut, and a Cue Robot. I love that I get to play such an integral role in the education of each student at my school!

Shenandoah Region Candidate: Jennifer Bracken

I am the Librarian at Page County High School in Shenandoah, Virginia. Along with being a Librarian, I teach one class each of yearbook and English. My yearbook class is solely responsible for the creation and distribution of the yearly annual. The English class is for two intellectually disabled students that are required to take a performance-based writing assessment. This has been quite a challenge as I have had to develop a curriculum to meet them at their instructional level. I also sponsor/co-sponsor the Book Club, SCA, and the Hiking Club.

I attended Clarion University of PA for my undergraduate work where I earned a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education English and a minor in Athletic Coaching. I attended Longwood University for my graduate work where I earned a master’s degree in School Library Media Science under the tutelage of Audrey Church and Frances Reeve.

I am a member of the PCEA, VEA, NEA, and VAASL. I would like to be even more active in VAASL than just attending the regional and state conferences and presenting at both levels. Libraries are a keystone in the successful education of students and I want to be a voice for my fellow Librarians.

I am very passionate about the success of students. I take my role in their success seriously and do everything I can to support them. I am always updating the collection, watching webinars, and attending PD opportunities to better myself and support my students.

York Region Candidate: Kristy Haight

I am currently the Media Specialist at Laurel Lane Elementary in Williamsburg-James City County schools. Teaching has always been my passion and after 13 years as a classroom teacher, I decided to follow my love of reading and entered the master’s program at Longwood. It wasn’t until I began working as a teacher librarian at Seaford Elementary in York County, that I knew I’d found my calling. Since I began my new career as a teacher librarian in 2012, I’ve been passionate about transforming our school library into a place where students want to learn, read, and collaborate. After being awarded several grants, including 2 innovative learning grants, our space is now a vibrant, learning community with books kids love and a new makerspace. I love sharing my excitement for children’s literature, inspiring critical thinking, and engaging students by integrating technology into lessons. My love for my work must show and I’ve been honored as Teacher of the Year twice since becoming a school librarian. I’ll always continue learning from my wonderful WJCC librarian colleagues, my online PLN and from VAASL. My motivation to be a leader in our library community has continued to grow as I’ve attended VAASL conferences, Longwood’s Literacy Institute, Shenandoah’s Children’s Literature Conference, and ODU’s Summer Institute. I’ve presented to our staff, school division teachers, and at VAASL conferences since 2013. I’m now excited for a new leadership role as I run for Regional Director-Elect. I’d be honored to represent the York region and contribute to the important work of VAASL.