Virginia Rey is the 2016 UNT Department of Library and Information Sciences Outstanding Alumna. Ms. Rey will be the keynote speaker at the College of Information Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony to be held May 13, 2016 at the UNT Murchison Performing Center.
She is a first generation, four year college degree recipient and attributes her hard work ethic to her immigrant parents. Ms. Rey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1984, and a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas in 1989.
Ms. Rey has 30 years’ experience in public school education at the elementary, middle, high school, and district level in the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas. The Ysleta ISD is the third largest school district in El Paso, Texas, and was named after the Isleta Indians who resided in the area for one thousand years. The first school in Ysleta opened in 1880. YISD was the first urban school district in the state to become a “recognized school district” based on student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test. Ms. Rey is a proud product of the Ysleta ISD, having graduated from Ysleta High School in 1980. She began her career as a 2nd and 4th grade teacher and pursued a calling to become an English as a Second Language Teacher in Nagano, Japan for one year. It is during this rewarding year in Japan that Ms. Rey discerned that her next step would be to pursue an MLS degree from UNT so she could instill a love of reading in children and focus on literacy efforts.
This higher education degree from UNT has opened many doors for Ms. Rey. As a middle school librarian in 2005, Ms. Rey was named Campus Teacher of the Year, and a Top Ten District Teacher of the Year Finalist. The following year, she was nominated for a Disney Teacher Award for creativity in teaching.
Her passion for librarianship and advocacy efforts have led to her being named Border Regional Library Association Librarian of the Year in 2011, serving on the State Senator’s Education Advisory Committee in 2012, the Texas Library Association Legislative Committee from 2013 to the present, and the Texas Library Association Awards Committee in 2016.
Ms. Rey is most proud of serving the 58 librarians under her care as Coordinator of Library Media Centers, advocating for libraries at the local and state levels, and assisting in promoting literacy to the over 42,000 students in 62 campuses in the Ysleta District of which 93.02% are of Hispanic ethnicity and 80.48% are economically disadvantaged.