Longtime librarian Ann Panoch has decided to step down from her role as media specialist. The 2016-2017 school year marked her 20th and final year working for the school library. Since being hired in 1997, Panoch has heavily contributed to the overall cheerful atmosphere of the campus. In addition to overseeing the library every day, the librarian has sprouted her own club for students who enjoy reading as well as training several students every spring for the annual Battle of the Books competition.
“She’s one of the sweetest teachers at Taravella. She cares so much about the students,” sophomore Samantha Simon said.
Originally starting out as an English teacher at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale, Panoch eventually transferred to Taravella and continued teaching English. Panoch’s interest in being an educator began while she was in elementary school. “I would play school with my younger sister and give her work to do. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was young,” Panoch said.
She decided to switch gears after a friend recommended the media specialist job to her, eventually going back to school while teaching simultaneously. After taking saturday classes at Nova Southeastern University, Panoch took a year off from working to finish her Master’s degree. She almost missed her interview for the position at Taravella, but ultimately decided she had to go. “I had a workshop that day. I had to ask the teacher if I could leave class for the interview and she told me I could go,” Panoch said.
Panoch worked in the library at Taravella alongside another media specialist until 2013, when she took over the role herself.
“My favorite thing about my job is being able to promote reading. If you can get a student hooked on reading, it’s a lifelong love that they have for the rest of their lives. Reading really takes you places,” Panoch said.
Although she loves working with the students and staff, retiring two years early was the right decision. She plans on being able to spend more time with her mother, as well as traveling more frequently with her husband to the Northeast. “I always used to put off trips with my husband when he’d say “Let’s go here!”. I always make him wait until the summer vacation,” said Panoch, who is looking forward to being able to visit her family and friends who live out-of-state more often. Now that she has more free time, she hopes to finally learn Spanish. “I’ve already started practicing,” she said. “I’ve wanted to learn for so many years.”
“I have enjoyed working here so much. I love this place and the people in it,” Panoch said.
A replacement librarian for the 2017-2018 school year has not been hired yet.
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