(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Less than a decade removed from earning her high school diploma from Cedar Hill High School, Chelsey Randel is already a pillar of the community.
Randel, 26, has worked for the City of Cedar Hill’s Zula B. Wylie Library since she was 17 years old. She’s now the City’s first-ever Teen Librarian where she’s responsible for all library programs for teenagers and tweens (ages 8 through 12). Randel also coordinates the Mayor’s Teen Council.
A Cedar Hill High School Class of 2015 Graduate, Randel is also one of the leaders of the Longhorn Futures Committee (LFC), a long range planning group that provides recommendations to the CHISD Board of Trustees on potential bond packages and other matters.
Randel was among the first group of scholars to attend Lake Ridge Elementary School in the early 2000s. She also attended West Intermediate School, Permenter Middle School and Cedar Hill High School.
Randel was a cheerleader who performed at AT&T Stadium when the CHHS Football Team won consecutive state championships in 2013 and 2014, respectively. She was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The middle child of five, Randel also worked at Soulman’s Bar-B-Que and Chapps Burgers during her high school years.
Randel, who has a dog named Cole, also teaches yoga at the library and Cedar Hill State Park.
Randel sees her work on the LFC as paying it forward.
“I felt the improvements that we saw during my time in CHISD – new athletic fields and a new culinary arts kitchen – had been the result of a bond that had been approved a few years earlier,” Randel said.
Randel earned an Associate’s Degree from Tarrant County College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) – all while working at the library as a Youth Services Assistant.
Randel’s career goal was to become a psychologist, but she had a change of heart.
“The more I thought about leaving the library, it made me sad,” said Randel, who went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Library Science from UTA in 2022.
Cedar Hill Library Services Director Aranda Bell is grateful that Randel chose library science as her career path.
“Chelsey is truly a passionate, enthusiastic and forward-thinking servant leader,” Bell said. “It’s been such a joy to work alongside her and watch her embody the true spirit of building community the “Cedar Hill Way.” She has been very instrumental in enhancing our services for tweens and teens. Chelsey pours her heart into every program and initiative that she works on. She definitely makes our library and community a better place and is a blessing to many.”
Randel also values Bell as a mentor and leader.
“Aranda is awesome,” Randel said. “She’s so sweet and encouraging. She really fosters a sense of family at the library, and that translates to all of the city departments. We’re not just co-workers, we’re friends.”
The entire library staff is working diligently to prepare for the grand opening of the City’s brand new, state-of-the-art library, which will take place on April 6.
Randel was just two years into her career with the library when Cedar Hill voters approved a 2017 bond that made the library a reality.
Growing up, Randel didn’t spend much time at the Zula B. Wylie Library, but she really enjoyed learning from Diana Frazier, librarian at West Intermediate, when Randel was a scholar there from 2007-2009.
Randel also had a chance to collaborate with the late, great Traphene Hickman, a Cedar Hill High School Class of 1950 Graduate and former Cedar Hill Librarian who passed away at age 89 in August 2022.
“Traphene had a passion for storytelling, and we worked together on the Youthtellers program,” Randel said.
Randel said the partnership between the city’s library and Cedar Hill ISD librarians is stronger than ever.
“We partner with CHISD all the time, and we have a really good working relationship,” Randel said. “We do outreach, and I visit the high school campuses on Fridays. I am excited for future partnerships with the school district.”
Naturally, Randel is an avid reader herself.
“I am a mood reader – I could read pretty much anything,” Randel said.