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The Division for Libraries and Technology Has a New Leader

Monday, August 9, 2021

Dr. Jill Underly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and her new administration took office on July 5, 2021. She has appointed Tessa Michaelson Schmidt as the new Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Libraries and Technology.

Tessa has been a public library consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for nearly ten years, specializing in library youth services and inclusive services for all library users. During the four years I have served as your school library consultant, Tessa has been a fabulous collaborator, and I am confident she will be a strong supporter of school libraries in her new position.

Throughout her career, Tessa has been dedicated to education and libraries. Prior to DPI, she was a third-grade teacher and K-8 school library media specialist, where rumor has it she painted the library blue to match Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! She was also formerly a director and librarian at a public library and a librarian for the UW’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center. While at DPI, Tessa led Growing Wisconsin Readers, an early literacy initiative based in public libraries. She also developed the Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide, a nationally recognized inventory and reflection tool for libraries to evaluate accessibility, equity, and barriers to services. Our work together focused on increasing public and school library collaboration through professional learning opportunities, like Connect and Create and Wisconsin Project READY, and grant awards to support projects across the state.

Tessa earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is married and has two children, one of whom recently finished public school four-year-old kindergarten. Her husband is an Army Reservist currently on active duty. Tessa and her family are outdoor enthusiasts working to visit all of the Wisconsin State Parks.

For questions about this information, contact Monica Treptow (608) 575-6065