Sam Harris is the head librarian and Upper School librarian, and the chair of the school’s Diversity Committee. She provides regular book talks to students—introducing them to new book genres, exciting characters, and diverse authors. She also teams with faculty to develop research projects for students. The projects cover a variety of subject areas and for many students culminate in the Academic Research for College project during junior year English classes.
Sam also partners with Holly Gerla to provide workshops for parents, teachers, and students regarding digital ethics and the impact of technology on our lives. “Technology today is a powerful tool and has fantastic potential, but as the famous comic-book hero quote goes, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,'” she says. “As educators, our responsibility is to continue to ask questions and think critically about how technology is impacting our lives and the lives of our students and families.”
Sam loves connecting students to books they fall in love with. “I also like to see them get excited about a research topic and delve deeply into the content,” she says. “One of the most rewarding experiences is observing a student move beyond considering research a required task, and instead become inspired to continue simply for the joy of knowledge and discovery. I love being a detective along with them, hunting down the best research and the most compelling evidence.”
Sam is the Murray Foundation Chair for Teaching Excellence.
Off campus, Sam volunteers at the Oasis Youth Center and is a member of the board at the Tacoma Rainbow Center. Not surprisingly, she also loves to read. Science fiction and fantasy books are her favorites. She also enjoys knitting socks, hats, and tiny adorable creatures for friends and family. One day she hopes to spend more time traveling to the Isle of Man, where she was born.