News


Danville teacher wins national honor

Monte Vista High's Gilles receives foundation's Award for Teaching Excellence

Danville teacher Kimberley Gilles received a high honor -- and a $25,000 check -- from the National Education Association Foundation earlier this month.

The English instructor from Monte Vista High took home the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, which "recognizes, rewards and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession," according to the foundation.

"It is my honor to accept this award in the name of the American public school teacher," Gilles said during her acceptance speech at the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. "It is my honor to say to you, 'Well done. You labor in the vineyards and you bring home a good harvest.'"

A teacher for 27 years, Gilles said her students continue to "show me every day what can happen when a great idea meets a great kid, and the room lights up."

"Gilles has been selected for this award by her peers because she has attained the highest teaching standards, as illustrated by her exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession and staunch support of public education," said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation.

"In her classroom, she shares her passion for social justice to inspire students to lift up their own voices through reading and writing," Sanford added.

Gilles, nominated by the California Teachers Association, was one of five finalists for the foundation's top honor. The other candidates represented elementary schools from Foley, Minn., and Wallingford, Conn., and high schools from Billings, Mont., and Richland, Wash.

The foundation presented nearly 40 awards to educators and public-education supporters during the ceremony Feb. 7. Gilles' award was the final presentation of the evening.

The event was hosted by actress Phylicia Rashad, perhaps best known for her role on television's "The Cosby Show."

Visit the NEA Foundation website to watch clips of the gala, including Gilles' acceptance speech.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

Congratulations .. well deserved!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kimberley Gilles
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Mar 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm

And thank YOU! Teaching the children of the the San Ramon Valley has been so joyous for me. One important component of my joy is the support of members of the community. As I said in my speech, "I am blessed!"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by danville mom
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 7:06 am

Congratulations! Our son, who is now a college freshman, was inspired by your class at MVHS. Job well done and an award well deserved.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arlene
a resident of Diablo
on Mar 3, 2014 at 7:30 am

Congratulations!! Our three children went to Monte Vista 30 years ago and I am a retired elementary school teacher and reading specialist. What an honor to have this award given to you, a Monte Vista teacher. We all are grateful to you and to all teachers for the life-long gifts that you give to our children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tomas
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

This looks like yet another union backed PC correct award.

From the story:

"In her classroom, she shares her passion for social justice to inspire students to lift up their own voices through reading and writing," Sanford added.

Glad my kids missed this teacher.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

@Tomas - looks like you are just another bitter, misguided fool. Please shut up!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tomas
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

@Xin Han

Yes of course, we cant have a civil debate on the merits of DNC political activism in an English HS classroom.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tomas
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 11:54 am

This comes from the same place that smashed the student run lunch program that upset the food monopoly company. Much like the public schools the official vendor did not like competition but the masses will ask for another helping.
Please MV may I have more?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A. Laurence
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Mrs. Gilles is truly one of the most inspiring teachers my daughter ever had. She was fortunate to have her for English 9 and 10, and then was able to TA for her for her junior and senior years. She inspired my daughter to be a life learner and fostered her desire to become a teacher herself. This award is well deserved and only people that know Mrs. Gilles should comment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tomas
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm

"This award is well deserved and only people that know Mrs. Gilles should comment."

This tells you everything you need to know. I think we should use this as a rule for all public conversations. Congress should adopt this policy now.
Thank you, Mr. Putin would approve of this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Guy
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

If one believes in diversity we should accept a cretin such as Tomas in our midst.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I'm with Old Guy. Diversity is meaningless unless we provide a place for whiny, angry and content-free bile-spewing such as that offered by Tomas. Anyone who disagrees with that is obviously a Communist.

Clearly, concepts like "justice", "reading" and "writing" have no place in public schools. Those things are just examples of "union backed P.C. correct" thinking thinking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by bz
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Thank you, Mrs. Gilles, for providing such an excellent example of dedication and hard work to your students! My daughters went to Monte Vista several years ago, and I am impressed to see what their superior education has enabled them to accomplish! We all owe so much to our devoted teachers!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tomas
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

If you really love diversity so much this is a strange place to live.
How did diversity work out for Danville resident Rylan Fuchs?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dolores
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

The reality is that this is a union award. The NEA is the teachers' union. Anyone who has been associated with Monte Vista High School knows that this teacher is a union leader, which she would have to be in order to even get nominated for this award. She may indeed be a good teacher, but understand the award and who it is given to before comparing it to a Nobel Peace Prize or even the independent "teacher of the year awards", which SRVUSD has had several outstanding winners.


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