Meet the Media Center Staff


Kara Heichelbech, Mrs. Tichenor, and Ashley Cousino left to right.)

Amanda Zheng, Staff Writer

When students charge their iPad, check out a Chromebook or use the Collaboration Center, they may not notice the staff that works to take care of the Media Center every day. The Trojaneer sat down with three staff members to discuss their new roles in the changing library.

Mrs. Ashley Cousino

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Ashley Cousino currently works as CGHS’s Media Assistant and AV specialist for her second year. 

“I became the media assistant because it was my mom [Mrs.Stuckey], who actually used to be the media assistant here when I was little, so I’ve been in this library since I was about twelve years old and since then, she’s always worked here,” Cousino said. “When this spot became available, it was really fun to pick up where she left off before she became the secretary. It was a really nice fit, and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed because I love reading so much.” 

Cousino says her familiarity with the school makes her job enjoyable. 

“For me, my favorite part is not only the students, but [als that ] I graduated from here so it’s like coming home every day when I come here [and] being able to spend time where I graduated from. It’s really cool to see students these days in the same hallways as I was in,” Cousino said. 

Since being hired, Cousino’s primary goal for the Media Center has been to create a quiet atmosphere suited for students to focus on their studies and unwind. 

“We know what it’s like in high school and college, and sometimes you just need a space that you can go and zone in on your work. We understand that study halls can be really loud and cramped and even your classrooms can feel a little bit cramped, so we know everyone needs a different study environment. Or if you’re already done with your assignments, you can come in and pick up a book and just read quietly in here. It’s just a space to break up your day, and if you need a refresher, this is a good place for that,” Cousino said. 

Both media assistants take part in helping with the set up and clean up with the preparation for classroom events, along with performing other tasks which ensure that the Media Center is run smoothly. 

“A lot of what we do is over scheduling the Media Center so classrooms can come down and use the collaboration center. We deal with all of the Chromebooks that come in and out, if people need to check out Chromebooks,” Cousino said. “We fix iPads if there’s troubleshooting we can do to help the kids, or if their iPads freeze up. If there’s something minor we can help them with, we do that. We also check out books, we do slide presentations, and we run the Maker Space.”

In addition to working during the day, Cousino also puts in time towards improving the Media Center at night. 

“I do a lot of work at night when I’m researching books to order. We try to stay current on social media and with books. We think of the displays they go in here that both take work and time. We also take part in setting up for after school activities and banquets,” Cousino said. 

Overall, Cousino’s main change to the Media Center was her application of stricter rules for the Media Center, which she believed were essential. She also contributed small changes which she said have made library resources more accessible and convenient. 

“I hope we’ve made the Media Center a better place. When I first got here, there weren’t a lot of rules as far as what students were allowed to do here. Rules in a place that is designated as a study zone are really beneficial, so we’ve set boundaries for what kids would need to [do to] be productive in studying. We’ve also set up guidelines to help make the process of checking out conference rooms a little easier, we’ve made it easier for chromebooks to be available for students and we’ve kind of upgraded and helped create ideas for the makerspace, which is really beneficial for classrooms that are doing projects,” Cousino said. “It hadn‘t been too long after it was remodeled that I got here, and then Mrs.Tichenor has [also] really helped a lot with getting all those rules put in place and helping enforce them.” 

Mrs. Beth Tichenor

After teaching at Avon Schools for nine years, Beth Tichenor started her first year as one of the CGHS media assistants. Tichenor moved from Avon to Martinsville and applied for a Center Grove teaching position. Although this is Tichenor’s first year, she has been working in a library for years. 

“I’ve been part of a library even since I was in high school,” Tichenor said. “I used to work at a library all through high school and college. I also love working with students, and I love reading and books. It’s just a dream job to have!” 

Tichenor believes that the Media Center’s resources and atmosphere makes it worthwhile to visit. As a media assistant, Tichenor works to keep the Media Center an enjoyable place to spend time in, and is able to perform several tasks to help students and staff. 

“Even [for things as] simple as [needing to charge] your iPad, we can [help,] or if you need to borrow a chromebook for the day. So there’s a lot, besides just checking out books or studying. The Media Center has a lot to offer. We do have windows [and ]we get some of the newest books that are out and available for students to read, along with magazines and other resources,” Tichenor said. “There are so many other things we can help with or provide here in the Media Center. It really is a great place for students to come down and enjoy it, and utilize everything we have here.” 

Since arriving, Tichenor has felt her assistance with the Media Center has led to beneficial improvements. Tichenor has helped with the process of checking out books, decorations, library etup, enforcing rules, scheduling the collaboration center, dealing with chromebooks, researching books, and other essential activities. 

“We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback over the way the Media Center is run as a team since we’re working together, and even from last year, we’ve seen positive things happening here that are really helping it become more available for students and a good place to come and study.” 

Tichenor also shared her favorite aspect of working in the Media Center.

“I love working with students and I love being able to speak with and encourage them, and just to also introduce them to new things. And to be able to carry out all the things Mrs. Cousino has implemented, as well as being able to let the students know what’s available to them,” Tichenor said.

Mrs. Kara Heichelbech

Since April of 2018, Kara Heichelbech has been the E-Learning coach and Global Campus Coordinator at the high school. Having background experience as an E-coach in a previous role and a desire to work in the Center Grove community motivated Heichelbech to apply for the job. In a typical workday, Heichelbech performs a variety of important tasks. 

“I often help teachers and talk with students, and some days I also have meetings. A lot of the time I’m planning for future Global Campus courses [and] sometimes [I] work with teachers on some of them,” Heichelbech said, “and I’m also just working with teachers on how to utilize technology really well in the classroom.” 

Although Heichelbech’s job maintains those routines, she also said there is a lot of variety in her work.

“My favorite part of my job is that it’s different every day. Like today, I met with two teachers to talk about future Global Campus courses. Yesterday and today, I did grade checks so I got to meet with students. Monday I was planning for a big presentation I did after school, [so] it really just depends on what’s happening,” Heichelbech said. “Tomorrow, I’ll meet with a teacher in the morning and then I’ll be out at a district meeting talking about technology integration across our district. So I just like that every day is something different and I’m interacting with different people every day.” 

Much of Heichelbech’s job responsibility is related to her role as the Global Campus Coordinator. Heichelbech said she believes Global Campus is worth trying, as it can be beneficial to students. 

“I really think Global Campus is a great way to expose kids to online learning because they’re more than likely going to interact with that way of learning at some point in their career. I think it promotes independence and helps them really become an advocate for themselves,” Heichelbech said. “One thing in Global Campus is that as a teacher, you don’t have that face-to-face with students, so I can’t tell who’s struggling. And so students have to learn to be really great advocates for themselves and I think that’s a really good life skill to have.” 

Since becoming the Global Campus Coordinator, Heichelbech has made several major changes to the program. 

“One of the biggest changes for students is that I now check their grades every week. When I first got here, grades were only checked at midterm and the end of nine weeks. I think checking the grades more often accomplished a lot,” Heichelbech said. “ [The] majority of the kids come through and their grades are really good, but we have a pocket of kids who don’t know they’re not doing well in a class, so I’m able to spark a conversation and then we can make a plan. So I’ve had students where we’ve sat down and made checklists together or a calendar with due dates mapped out. It really allows me to have those one-on-one convos to make sure every student is successful not just [with] Global Campus but also here in school.” 

Heichelbech’s choice to go into the teaching field was driven by the opportunity to interact with kids, but her favorite part of working at Center Grove is being with the staff.

“There are a lot of great teachers and administrators here. I also love being able to work with the Media Center ladies. We really do have really great people working here,” Heichelbech said. 

Overall, Heichelbech believes she has made a positive difference at Center Grove due to the feedback she has received. 

“Recently, I have had quite a few teachers tell me they feel supported. I think that  my number one job is being here for all the students, but my role is also to support the teachers and I think I’ve done that,” Heichelbech said.