Cos Cob School (CCS) Principal Gene Schmidt received the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL) 2016 Administrators Award on Thursday, April 28. The CASL award honors an administrator “who provides necessary support for improving media services through encouragement and adequate funding for program maintenance and improvement.”
Schmidt’s nominator for the award, CCS Media Specialist Nancy Schwartz said, “In the three years that he has been at Cos Cob School, he has made amazing strides in helping me transform our tired but attractive media center into a bustling, beautiful learning commons that is indeed the heartbeat of the school.” In her nomination letter, Schwartz continues, describing the extent to which Mr. Schmidt supported the vision of a learning commons, by researching to understand its value, sourcing the funding, helping to build and paint the space, scouring summer yard sales for useful materials, and, ultimately, promoting the virtues of the program with CCS staff and families, and the community at large. The CCS Learning Commons provides a vibrant, student-centered environment for learning through research, collaboration, creation, and innovation.
This is the third consecutive year that GPS educators have been honored by CASL. Greenwich High School Media Specialist Alexandra Stevens received the 2014 CASL Carlton W. H. Erickson Award for having made an auspicious beginning in library media services. In 2015, GPS Media and Technology Program Coordinator Fran Kompar received the CASL Hilda and John Jay Award for making an extensive contribution to the library media profession.
Bio Brief: Gene Schmidt
Gene Schmidt was appointed Cos Cob School Principal in 2013, after five years as Assistant Principal at the International School at Dundee (2008-2011) and at Julian Curtiss School (2011-2013.)
An experienced elementary school educator and leader, Gene Schmidt has taught all grade levels, K-5 and Art classes – in traditional, multi-age, dual grade and international settings. He has participated in numerous school and District initiatives, including multiple curriculum reviews, school improvement team committees, and community service programs. He has served on one of the District’s most pivotal committees, the Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning (TEPL) Committee. Schmidt has assumed leadership roles throughout his career, including Chair of ISD’s Social Emotional Learning Committee, as a member of the Greenwich Education Association’s Board of Directors since 2001, and as an International Baccalaureate Trainer/Presenter since 2005.
Schmidt taught at the Whitten Elementary School in Marianna, AK from 1974 to 1976, the Sidney Central School in Sidney, NY from 1976 to 1979, and after a six-year hiatus to work in private industry, he returned to teaching at the Surfside Elementary School in Melbourne, FL from 1985 to 1987. From 1989 to 1996, Schmidt taught at the Riviera Elementary School in Palm Bay, FL during which time he participated in a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. Traveling to Leeds, UK, Mr. Schmidt taught at the 7 Hills Infant and Primary School for the 1991-92 school year. He was also recognized as an exemplary teacher receiving the 1993-94 Teacher of the Year from this district. In 1996, he moved to Milan, Italy to teach at the American School, returning to the States in 2000 to accept a teaching position with the International School at Dundee. He was again recognized for his teaching accomplishments in receiving the Greenwich Distinguished Teacher Award in 2005.
Schmidt received his B.S. in Elementary Education from State University College in Oneonta, NY in 1974; his Masters in International Education from Framingham State College in Framingham, MA in 1998; and his Administrative Certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, CT in 2007.