Head librarian Marianne Cramer is an easy person to get to know. She jokes with the bowling coach that she may challenge him once she boosts her Wii skills. She meets and greets the after-school staff and student book clubs. But however well people get to know Marianne Cramer, what sets her apart is how well she gets to know a select group of students.
Like every other member of the high school faculty, Mrs. Cramer was assigned a small group of students to advise for the four years they spend in the high school. These teacher advisement appointments are intended to make sure every student knows there is at least one adult in the building who has their back, a person they can go to for help, their own personal advocate. Parents give Mrs. Cramer high marks for doing that job especially well. “These are students we spend our lives with and we should know more about them and how they think,” she says. Mrs. Cramer spends 10 to 15 minutes a day with her advisees, as long as they don’t have assemblies. When they do assemble or go to Mass, she sits with them. She checks their grades and writes them notes on their successes, telling them she is proud of them. She schedules their classes and helps them learn how to solve their own problems.
“My goal is that, when they leave The Summit, they are independent people who know how to address issues that occur to them,” she says.
Of course, Mrs. Cramer also runs the high school library, coordinates processes for the libraries in the other three schools and manages several visits a year from well-known authors — Newberry-prize winner Rebecca Steed, former First Daughter Jenna Bush, “Marley and Me” author John Grogan and “Unicorn Chronicles” creator Bruce Coville to name a few.
After more than three decades in education, Mrs. Cramer says the most revealing thing she has learned is that educators affect students long after they graduate. “There are so many times I’ve had a student come back to the school and say, ‘You know, I remember this or I remember that or I really appreciate this or I really enjoyed that.’ ” she says. “It’s important to treat each of them with respect.”
“At The Summit, we really believe in the four-year adviser program. This is the heart of it: Every student has an adult in the building who knows them better than the teacher they have for English or history or math.”
Head librarian; facilitates faculty/staff book club; moderates student book club; student adviser. Began Summit in 1986-87. Worked 8 years at Cincinnati State’s library. B.A. in History, College of Mount St. Joseph. M.L.S., University of Kentucky.
Lives with her husband, Jerry, a retired mechanical engineer and avid amateur golfer, in North Bend. Graduated from Seton High School where her parents got a group discount because they had so many children in Catholic school at the same time. Son Jeremy is a ’09 Summit grad. A 3-gallon donor for Hoxworth Blood Center. Fan of Ohio State football, U.K. basketball, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. Her favorite vacation was a two-week road trip to Nova Scotia. “I had my picture taken in front of Green Gables because Anne of Green Gables was a favorite story of mine.”