From Plymouth to Zambia

a guest post by Jill Canillas Daley, Plymouth LMS Program

Jill Canillas Daley

In an unlikely series of events, the universe conspired to send me to Zambia Africa.

I was speaking with a friend and co-worker about an upcoming trip to Lusaka Zambia that my daughter would be going on to support a troupe called Circus Zambia. Circus Zambia had spent a large portion of the summer in the Upper Valley and my daughter and myself spent some time tutoring them. My daughter was heading over for 2 weeks to assist with the opening of their newly purchased Circus school.  While chatting with my friend, I opened my email and on the NHSLMA listserv, was a job opening for an Librarian at the American International School (AISL) in Lusaka Zambia. I was shaken as I do not recall seeing overseas jobs on the listserv before, and this hit quite close to home. I immediately contacted Pam Harland, as she was the person whom had posted the email. Pam and I had served on the NHSLMA Board and stayed connected via social media and her new position at PSU. She asked if I knew Dr. Kiley Kapp because Kiley had asked Pam to post the position. The world shrank a bit as I did know Dr. Kapp. She has been my professor at PSU the prior semester for Technology Integration in the Common Core and we had kept in touch via social media as well. In fact for part of that class, I submitted a piece of student work that was a 5th grade class Genius Hour project educating students to the plight of Zambian children obtaining an education. This GH project was driven by the students and they raised, with assistance from the foundation Positive Tracks, over $3000.00 to support Circus Zambia in getting their circus school started.

When I contacted Kiley, she stated if she had known I was interested, she would have addressed me directly. She was ecstatic and said I would be perfect for the job. The Director of the school is her friend and neighbor and she offered to immediately write me a letter of recommendation. After that, things began to move rapidly and eventually I was offered a one year contract at AISL as the primary school librarian for the 2017-2018 year.

AISL Library in Zambia

PSU is not only my source for completing my Master’s Degree, it has been a stronghold of support and connections. I have become friends with many people that either attend or teach at PSU, and online courses make it easy to stay connected and assist one another. The encouragement I received to take a risk and apply for the job was a confidence booster that pushed me forward. I love the Graduate Program which understands that the students are adults with complex lives and PSU supports that with flexibility. I look forward to continuing the pending adventure via social networking with my PSU friends.

Jill Canillas Daley, the Noisy Librarian
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