Valerie B. Diggs
Valerie Diggs, was long-time educator, librarian, author, and internationally acclaimed innovator in the realm of information and technology. She held numerous library positions in the Chelmsford Public Schools, culminating in the position of Coordinator of Libraries, as well as having filled many professional and civic roles both locally and regionally, Valerie’s influence was extraordinary and far-reaching.
In December 2008 Valerie’s innovative planning resulted in the first ever high school Learning Commons putting Chelmsford High School not only on the regional and national map, but on the international one as well. As a result of Valerie’s knowledge, foresight, and creativity, visitors came thereafter from schools far and wide, and Dr. Donald Yeoman, Superintendent of Schools, awarded her the Champions for Children award upon the LC’s opening. For the CHS community, this space, along with the visionary behind it, became the heart of the entire educational facility. From the Common Grounds café on Wednesday mornings, to monthly Listening Lunches, to after school clubs and activities, the LC became a multi-purpose attraction, both academically and socially, for all members of the CHS community.
With the Learning Commons up and running and receiving its well-deserved recognition, Valerie was ready to take on yet another Herculean task, she was selected to co-chair the high school’s three-year New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) self-study in preparation for NEASC’s Accreditation visit in March of 2012. Due in very large part to her well-honed organizational skills, Valerie’s enthusiasm and attention to every last detail never waned. In the end considerable credit for the very successful outcome of the 2012 visit and the ultimate accreditation of CHS was due in great measure to Valerie’s tireless effort and dedication.
Though now retired from CPS, Valerie continues her role as educator at Lowell Catholic High School where she currently serves as the school’s librarian. Since 2009 she has worked as a facilities design consultant in the area of library design and has authored numerous publications. Both Simmons College and Salem State University have benefitted from having Valerie on their staffs as Adjunct Professor. Among many other honors Valerie has received, she has served as President of the Massachusetts School Library Media Association, she is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts School Library Association, and she is a member of the New England School Library Association’s Hall of Fame.