Roanoke — As the Roanoke Elementary School media library specialist, Kelley Valdez focuses each day on motivating students and instilling in them a passion for books and reading.But in today’s high-tech educational environment, Valdez also thinks about ways to incorporate technology and grade-level curriculum into each of her lessons. She found out last fall that her innovative approach resulted in being nominated for the Texas Computer Education Association Library Media Specialist of the Year. Valdez, who is one of three finalists, will find out later this month if she was selected for the award.“If I were to win this award, I would be so honored and proud that I can represent the district in this manner,” she said. “As part of the application, I was able to highlight several initiatives that we have in the district. And it is always exciting to let others know of the work that we do.”Sunni Johnson, formerly the Northwest school district’s lead librarian/instructional technology coach, and now the district’s elementary language arts coordinator, nominated Valdez for the award. On her award application, Valdez had to write a brief summary of her accomplishments regarding the use of technology in Roanoke Elementary’s media center. Valdez noted the use of digital tools for both staff and students, including:• Using word processing tools and presentation tools as well as recording devices (digital cameras, video cameras, Audacity and Easi-Speak microphones) and interactive tools, such as the Mimio Teach, to highlight learning.• Creating deployment procedures and modeling the use of iPads as an instructional tool.• Using Web 2.0 tools to engage students and empower learning, including Flipped Instruction.• Using digital picture frames to highlight digital products created by students and show the connection between content curriculum and information and media literacy.Valdez said this year, Roanoke Elementary school has received three iPad carts. Each cart has 25 iPads, she said.“This is exciting for both our staff and students. I have worked with our school administration to make getting the iPads into the hands of our students an easy process,” Valdez said. “I have highlighted several apps within my lessons and the teachers have made me extremely proud by turning around and putting these apps to work within the classroom.”Watching Roanoke Elementary students create products on iPads after just minutes of direct instruction has been amazing, Valdez said.