Mrs. Herninko is RHS’s newest member and she certainly has not failed to impress.
Mrs. Herninko just recently came to RHS this school year after being the librarian at Union Middle School. She has made the learning commons a very fun place, as it is hopping at lunch now. She plays top hits music for us at lunch, has reorganized the learning commons, and has even added a new iconic “Zen Den” that is very popular amongst students. In an exclusive interview with Mrs. Herninko, she answers some questions about her new life here at RHS!
Q: When did you decide to leave Union school to come to RHS?
A: I decided to come to RHS right before this school year started! It was a hard decision because I did love Union School and the people I worked with there. I began my career as a special education teacher at RHS many years ago, and I felt like it was time to come back. I have always loved working with high school students, and becoming the women’s lacrosse coach last year reminded me of that. I am very happy that I decided to come back to RHS because the staff is very friendly and caring and the students have been so great to work with!
Q: What made you decide to create the Zen Den?
A: My first goal when I became the librarian here at RHS was to create a library space that felt welcoming for all. I wanted to give students and staff a place where they felt they could decompress and also do work in an environment that helped them feel at ease and connected. There is a lot of literature on why and how libraries can serve as calming centers within schools. I was lucky enough to have a grant from the REA to help me create the Zen Den and I was able to purchase items and reorganize the space within the first few weeks of being here. I had some input from students on what to decorate the space with and I think it has been well received so far.
Q: Do you have any other additions that you plan to make to the library?
A: I know not many of you want to hear this, but I was just at a meeting where there was a lot of discussion on how the overuse of technology can have negative effects on students and their ability to interact, reason, and problem solve. While technology can be a powerful tool in the learning process, it is important to spend time without a device in hand. Something as simple as putting out a puzzle showed me how much students still enjoy downtime in more traditional ways. So far students have completed three 1000-piece puzzles within a couple of weeks! I would like to add more tech-free options for students to gravitate towards during their prep periods and at lunch.
Featured image credit: Tania Tania