Sharing Her Passion for Reading
Hayes Schardt, The Christ School’s Media Specialist and Yearbook Adviser, loves to share her passion for reading with her students. In her role at TCS, she manages the school’s library and teaches information literacy lessons to all of lower school. She also leads the middle school Yearbook elective as the students plan, design, and put together the school’s yearbook.
Hayes was born in Ohio, and grew up in Longwood, FL. She attended Clemson University and Florida State University. “In my free time, I enjoy reading, trivia game nights, yoga, movies, and participating in community theater,” she says. “The most recent production I was in was [Miss], by William Newkirk. We performed at the Tampa Bay Theater Festival in September, and won first place in the full-length play category. There are negotiations about performing the play in Northern Florida in 2018.”
“I have been working as a school librarian for a total of 12 years,” says Hayes. “All my life I have been a lover of books and reading. I even began helping my own school libraries when I was in 1st grade. I was a Media Assistant in both middle and high school, and skipped my first college football season to learn how to use the university’s library system. Seriously, every Saturday you would find me in the library basement computer lab instead of attending the football games!” she says.
“I began my career as a 1st grade teacher,” she says. “The media center at my first school was woefully out of date and completely disorganized. I made the best of it since I was not in charge. Two years later, the principal hired me as the Media Specialist, and that started my career of teaching children by showing: showing a love of reading and books, a love of book characters that come to life when you have the right librarian, showing how books often have the answers to questions you may be afraid to ask, showing how a library is organized and functions, showing how they can become independent gatherers of information with a little bit of teaching and guidance.”
Hayes came to TCS in 2014. “I love teaching at TCS because of the close-knit relationships between teachers, students and parents. In my other schools, I would know the students’ names and sometimes identify a sibling or two if I met them. But, at this school, I know who is sibling to whom, I have met the parents, both in school and out. I see them at the local grocery store; I even know some of their pets’ names! I feel like I am a wanted and loved member of this school, and it’s the best feeling when you get up in the morning, and you are excited about going to your job!” says Hayes.
“This year in Library class, I was especially excited to introduce some great book series to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students via class read alouds. They love them! Children may not admit it, but even 12-year-olds love to have a story read out loud to them once in a while,” she says. “I also love the Sunshine State program. The students get so excited about reading for their incremental prizes, and a few of them are aiming to get to the Hall of Fame this year!”
“Two years ago, The Christ School leadership asked me to take on the role of Yearbook Advisor,” she says. “I was excited about this new challenge. Yearbook is a rigorous course because there is a lot these students have to accomplish in a short amount of time. But at the same time it’s important to have fun while we work. We celebrate each others’ birthdays, and sometimes have Fun Friday Fests, which means unexpected treats are available. It has been a fun experience because I love interacting with the middle school crowd. Being a Specials class solely for lower school, I missed the students after they moved on to middle school.”
Hayes shares her favorite Bible verse:
Get all the advice and instruction you can,
so you will be wise the rest of your life
– Proverbs 19:20 (NLT)
“In other words, always be a lifelong learner!” she smiles.