Influencer of the Week: Brittany Geib of Sunset Park Elementary

Brittany Geib is the library media specialist and has been at SPES for five years.

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Brittany Geib wears many hats at Sunset Park Elementary. Her title is library media specialist, and she handles technology support and the book fair; takes inventory of textbooks, laptops and library materials; does lesson planning; coordinates Partners in Education, Teach-In, social media/website and picture day; is club sponsor for the Battle of the Books team and Shelving Club; and is a member of the Digital Curriculum Support Team and Faculty Advisory Committee. She was Teacher of the Year for the 2020-21 school year in her second year as a teacher.  


What brought you to your school?

The one thing that brought me to my school five years ago was my crazy college schedule. I was working two jobs at the time and needed something closer to my second job, Cracker Barrel in Winter Garden. I would leave working Sunset Park and serve in the evenings and weekends. 


What do you love most about your school?

One thing that I love about my job is that I interact with every single student and staff member on our campus throughout the school year. Being able to build relationships with all members has made this a very enjoyable experience working at my school. 


What is your motivation? 

My motivation will always be the teachers and students that I serve. I am here to support my teachers with technology and curriculum needs. I pull standards that the classroom teachers are working on, and I develop my lessons in the media center based on what the students are learning in class. This helps my students in reinforcing a standard or skill they are learning in class, which, in turn, helps my teachers.


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing students enjoy coming into the media center each day. I have tried to make the media center a welcoming place for all students to feel welcome. The most rewarding part is seeing a student enjoy using the maker space area, reading a book that resonates with them or coming in just to relax on a chair.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

The funny part is I deal with technology all day, but I love antiquing on the weekends! I also enjoy thrift store searching, going to the beach, smoking food, hanging out with family and friends, and reading children’s books.


Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

I graduated from OCPS in 2012, and my favorite teacher still works for OCPS — Randall Ius at Wekiva High School. I had him for all four years at Wekiva High School, and he made agriculture the best part of my day. He is truly inspirational and goes above and beyond being a teacher in the classroom. He also ran the after-school club, FFA (Future Farmers of America), and he was always at every event and livestock show for his students. Mr. Ius has grown the agriculture program and after-school FFA club tremendously since my time in high school. Mr. Ius will always hold a special place in my heart, and if you ask any of his students, they will tell you that he was and still is the best teacher.


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

When I was young, I always wanted to be a pediatrician. I always knew I wanted to work with children and help children in some way. I went to college and took my first anatomy class, and that is when I knew that being a doctor was not for me.


What is your favorite children’s book and why?

This is so hard for me to pick one, but my favorite children’s book is “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates,” by Ryan T. Higgins. This is my favorite book to read to my new kindergarten classes during the first week of media center orientation. It is about a T-rex named Penelope that just can’t stop eating her classmates, and all her classmates are afraid of her. Penelope just wanted a friend, so, she asks Walter a goldfish to be her friend. Walter bit her finger and Penelope doesn’t like being someone else’s snack. The kindergarteners just think this is the funniest part of the book because a big ol’ T-rex is afraid of a tiny goldfish. This is a great lesson for the students because we can talk about traits that we want in our friends and how we treat one another.


What are your hobbies?

 Reading children’s books and shopping at thrift stores


If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I think if I could have any superpower, I would choose to read others’ minds. This would help me to understand what others are struggling with academically or social-emotionally. 


If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

If I was to choose three bands to listen to the rest of my life, I would choose Chris Stapleton, Maroon 5 and Mötley Crüe.  I love a variety of music, and each one of these bands/artists I love so much. I would choose these three so I have three completely different genres of music to listen to the rest of my time.  


What was your go-to lunch as an elementary student? Any favorite snacks or special treats you remember?

My typical lunch as a child was a ham or peanut butter sandwich. I went to a Christian private school until third grade, and my school every Friday would sell orange sherbet push-up pops. Those were my favorite and I would get one of those every Friday. That was my one special treat a week that I always looked forward to. 


What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Christmas, it is a special time of year for my family. My grandmother owned a bakery where she baked wedding cakes, cookies, pastries and bread. She would also host a Christmas show where she would open up her home and sell catalog items and her baked goods to the community. This was always a big deal in our family and took a lot of preparation. My grandmother has since passed from cancer five years ago, and we continue to honor her legacy. She left all family members with special gift of a handwritten cookbook. My family has made sure to make cookies and goods to carry on her memory. That is why this time of the year is so special to us.   


Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

My best friend in school was Aundrea; we went to Ocoee Middle School together. My neighborhood switched zoning to Wekiva High School, and we sort of lost touch as we were adjusting to high school. We occasionally ask how each other is doing but are not in touch as much as I wish. 


What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

My extracurricular activities in high school consisted of FFA (Future Farmers of America). This consumed all of my time, and I loved it. My senior year I raised a sheep named Dodge and a goose named Mother. I received the Dekalb Agriculture Student of the Year award my senior year. 


How long have you been at your school and with OCPS?

I have been at Sunset Park for five years, and I have been with OCPS for nine years — three years at Clay Springs Elementary and one year at Rock Springs Elementary as an after-school program counselor. In my first year at Sunset Park, I was a basic paraprofessional, the second year I was a media center clerk, and in my third year, I transitioned into the media specialist position when I graduated from UCF. 


How did you get involved in the West Orange Times & Observer's Reading Reindeer program? 

I became involved with the Observer’s Reading Reindeer program when a parent recommended it to me. Althea Williams’ girls both attended Sunset Park and were in middle school when she emailed me about the literacy program. She asked me if it was something our school would be interested in. I asked my administration at the time, and they were on board with it. I put the bucket outside the media center, send out flyers and post to the Facebook page, and families are always very generous. We have been participating in the initiative since 2019 and will continue to do so.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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