NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — All month long we are highlighting excellent educators in our area.

Well, it’s time to meet a library media specialist in Norfolk who worked hard to find a way to keep her students reading, while also sharing stories with them that would give them the boost they need to stay positive during the most trying of times.

“I think the word of the day, every day, is be flexible,” said Linda McIntire.

McIntire is a Library Media Specialist at Fairlawn Elementary School, though she just calls herself a librarian.

“I think there’s something special about books in your hand versus books on the screen.”

So, when schools closed last year because of COVID, McIntire made it her mission to get those books in kids’ hands. Even though she’s back in school now, she thinks back to how she created an online document for students to fill out if they wanted books. Then, three days a week she would meet the kids at the school to hand them out.

“I think I served 40 or 50 families that way.”

Ms. McIntire now has a mobile classroom where she delivers books to students. She also reads books to classes focused on equity and social/emotional needs.

“She just puts in her all and all to make sure that our students have success,” said June Lightfoot, principal of Fairlawn Elementary.

Lightfoot says Ms. McIntire is always a smiling, hard worker.

“I don’t know how to give her back her time, and not only in her immediate job, but any job that comes open or support that the staff needs, Ms. McIntire will be the first one to jump in and say, ‘I’ll do it. I’ll help. What can I do?'”

Linda McIntire, a truly Excellent Educator.

“Just sitting here, listening to her, just made me realize what a jewel I have!” Lightfoot said.