TOWANDA - Michele Robbins of Troy, who holds a master's degree in education, with a focus on literacy, has been hired as the new coordinator of the Bradford-Wyoming Counties Literacy Program.

Robbins will replace Sherry Spencer, who is retiring after serving as the head of the literacy program for 33 years.

Robbins was one of four applicants for the position, all of whom were interviewed, said Jeffrey Singer, director of the Bradford County Library.

The other three candidates would have been quite capable of doing the job, too, he said.

But Robbins "happened to have the qualifications we were most looking for," he said.

"I'm looking forward very much to working with her," Singer said. "She has some very intriguing ideas. She is very energetic."

Robbins has teaching experience at BOCES in Rochester, N.Y. and in Elmira, N.Y.

Robbins has given presentations and written papers in the area of literacy, said Mark Agutter, Bradford County human resources director.

Robbins said that she worked at Northern Tier Career Center for eight months in 2010, helping to get the vo-tech school's welding program established.

She said she had been volunteering for the Bradford-Wyoming Counties Literacy Program for a couple of months when she found out about the opening for the agency's coordinator position.

Robbins received a B.S. in Vocational Education from Oswego State University in Oswego, N.Y., in 2007.

She earned her master's degree in education, with a focus on literacy, from New England University in 2009.

"I think it's going to be very exciting," Robbins said of her new job.

She said she will spend the first half-year getting oriented to her new position. After that, she is interested in applying for grants to acquire upgraded technology that would be used by the program.

Robbins will work 37 1/2 hours per week as literacy coordinator at an hourly wage of $15.78.

Robbins said she will start her new job on Monday.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: