Newton District Says Farewell to Teacher Librarian After 17 Years

Credits: Danielle Francisco
Credits: Jeffrey Herring

NEWTON, NJ—After 38 years as a professional Teacher Librarian, 17 of which were spent in the Newton District, Wendy Whipple was bid farewell on Monday, June 19 at the Newton High School Class of 2017 graduation.

Whipple’s career began in 1978, when she spent four years at the Sussex County Library serving as the Branch Coordinator and supervising the planning and construction of the three new branch libraries.

She then moved onto Green Township where she spent the next 18 and a half years, before making her way to Newton. It was here she spent the next 17 years.

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“I feel blessed to have been in service in a career that I knew was for me all the way back to my junior high years,” said Whipple.

There are many accomplishments and processes that Whipple brought to the Newton District. To name a few:

  • Renovation and modernization of the facility in 2004
  • Bringing in the Enthusiastic Reader’s program
  • Making the library “the hub” of Newton High School

“Wendy takes pride in gaining an understanding of our students and staff so she can better support the academic and leisure interests of all,” said Newton High School Principal, Jeff Waldron. “Wendy has guided the NHS library into the 21st century by maintaining the values of a traditional library while adapting to advancements in technology that have enhanced the information gathering and sharing process.” 

Some of Whipple’s favorite memories at Newton include chaperoning the fan bus to the boys state soccer finals in 2012 and the victory parade that began in Byram and included police, fire and rescue trucks with their lights and sirens going as they circled the entire square of Newton.

“We knew we were witnessing history and to this day, we are the only Sussex County State Soccer Champions,” said Whipple. “I also remember fondly the baseball team that played in the Group II State final my first year here in 2000.”

In addition to her “outstanding” work as a librarian,Waldron said, “Wendy is a one of the strongest advocates for our students, staff and NHS. She will be missed.”

Whipple looks forward to traveling to watch some Big 10 football games in the fall and spending time with her husband Bruce, who recently retired from teaching in Andover, along with doing lots of reading.

She also hopes to once again become an adjunct professor at Rutgers, where she would like to educate the future teacher librarians.

“The students here at Newton High School are kind and caring, and have always been respectful and appreciative of all that the library staff has done for them. At NHS I have had the privilege of serving with some of the most dynamic and gifted teachers, support staff, administrators, and Board of Education members. I hope that my students will remember me as someone who always wanted to help, who expected a good work ethic, and who took great pride in her students and our school. It is my wish that they will always look to librarians as helpers in service to them.”

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