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NASBE Names DC Public School Librarian K.C. Boyd as Policy Leader of the Year


Alexandria, Va.—The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is pleased to honor K.C. Boyd, a 24-year school librarian and education activist in the District of Columbia. The award is given annually to an individual in recognition of their policy contributions to public education.

Boyd began her career working for Chicago Public Schools where she held positions at the elementary, middle, high school, and administrative levels. Later, she served as a lead librarian for the East St. Louis School District in Illinois. She also led Mayor Daley’s Book Club for middle schoolers. She now works in Washington, DC, at Jefferson Academy. A staunch advocate and activist for school libraries and librarians, Boyd has elevated equity and funding for public school libraries to ensure that every child has access to books in which they see themselves reflected.

Notably, Boyd has advocated strongly for the District’s Students Right to Read Amendment Act of 2021, which would ensure funding sufficient for every DC public school to maintain a school library. In testimony supporting the bill, Boyd underscored how critical the support for school libraries was for expanding education opportunities for DC’s most vulnerable students and for attracting talent to DC public schools. She also advocated for funding and technology to enable librarians to develop high-quality lesson plans that lead to positive learning outcomes for all students.

“Ms. Boyd is a shining light and exemplar of a policy advocate,” shared DC State Board of Education Interim Executive Director Alexander Jue. “Her energy, thoughtful diligence, and experience has illuminated and elevated many issues affecting librarians and students in DC public schools, and we could not be more proud of her work.”

Boyd, recently named National School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal for her transformative work at Jefferson Academy, has made significant efforts to encourage and uplift youth by making strong connections between students and notable community members and by creating mechanisms to teach students about representation and mentorship. She curated her school’s collection to reflect its primarily African American student body, runs a popular makerspace program that enables creative teaching and interactive learning, has elevated digital literacy, and develops programs to meet students’ academic and social-emotional needs.

Boyd serves on the executive boards for the District of Columbia Library Association and the Washington Teachers Union. She is an active committee member and advisor of several other national and regional library associations. In addition to being named Librarian of the Year, Boyd received the District of Columbia Library Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020 and the American Association of School Librarians EMIERT Award. A popular keynote speaker and guest lecturer, Boyd pens The Boss Librarian Blog, which chronicles her work with K–12 students, digital literacy, and effective use of technology in the classroom. Her work has been featured in national publications such as Education Week, School Library Journal, PBS Newshour, and the Library Journal.

“I’m honored to receive The Policy Leader of the Year Award,” said Boyd. “I followed my parents, aunts, and uncles into education and have found it to be a rewarding career.  The opportunity to strengthen the community by giving my service and time is a personal responsibility that I take very seriously.  I enjoy my work as a school librarian, and I truly believe it’s the best job on the planet.”

“The Policy Leader of the Year award is the highest honor that state board of education members can bestow,” said NASBE President and CEO Paolo DeMaria. “We are happy to recognize the exemplary service of Ms. Boyd in ensuring that all children have access to the libraries and books that are so critical to their learning and development.”

The 2022 Policy Leader of the Year award will be presented to K.C. Boyd during NASBE’s Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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