Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – Educators from across the state are this year’s winners of the annual California Teachers Association’s Human Rights Awards for their outstanding dedication to promoting and protecting human and civil rights.
“These educators are making a profound difference in their schools and communities,” said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member CTA. “We honor their outstanding work with these awards.”
The CTA members who are winners of the CTA Human Rights Awards this year are:
BAKERSFIELD: Lila P. Perez is the winner of the César Chávez “Sí Se Puede” Human Rights Award for her work during her 21-year teaching career inspiring the children of migrant farm workers, English language learners and their families. This member of the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association is a former member of the United Farm Workers union, where she was inspired by Chávez and carries on his fighting spirit, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college.
SAN RAMON: Kimberley Gilles earned the CTA Member Human Rights Award for promoting the recognition of the positive contributions of GLBT and minority youths in her community. Her curriculum for “The Laramie Project” encouraged young people to look at bigotry issues. Her students get involved in the Salvation Army’s “Adopt a Family” program, and she often takes her students to a Danville bookstore to listen to authors speak and to learn about the joys of reading.
LAKE COUNTY: Sue Allen, a tireless advocate for human rights issues, is the winner of the Women’s Issues Human Rights Award. The Middletown Teachers Association member served on key committees of the CTA State Council of Education, including chairing the Early Childhood Education Committee, and was on the union’s Early Childhood task force. Locally, as vice chair of the CTA Redwood Service Center Council, she leads the endorsement process to make sure candidates are knowledgeable on women’s issues.
BAKERSFIELD: Kevin Crosby, a special education teacher for 10 years in the Kern High School District, has inspired his students to learn and communicate and is this year’s winner of the Physically/Mentally Challenged Students’ Human Rights Award. For his work on creating two programs which help teach vocational skills to students with special needs, Crosby won two major awards last year. His solar energy club won the President’s Environmental Youth Award from the federal EPA. And in June 2011, he flew to Washington D.C. with two of his students to receive the California Senior Level School of the Year Award as part of the National Energy Education Development Project’s Youth Awards.
MENDOCINO COUNTY: Duval Sam Phillips, an education support professional who is president of the Potter Valley Classified Employees Association in Mendocino County, is honored with the Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native Human Rights Award. He also serves on the Tribal Council in Mendocino County, where he advocates for tribal and non-native families for education support. He helped obtain funds for the outstanding Native American mural project in his Potter Valley Community Unified School District.
HANFORD: Myndi Hardgrave is honored with the Nancy Bailey Leadership in Lesbian and Gay Issues Human Rights Award. For many years, she has been a role model and the driving force in creating a safe environment for GLBT students and staff at Hanford West High School in Kings County, where she serves as advisor to the Gay, Straight Alliance. She was recently named “Educator of the Week” by a local Central Valley television station, and her civil rights work landed her on the cover of the March 2011 issue of the CTA California Educator magazine, the first issue dedicated to preventing GLBT bullying.
SAN RAFAEL: This is a team award. For leading the way in protecting and advancing human rights issues for educators and students, CTA’s Redwood Service Center Council won the Service Center Council Human Rights Award. Under the guidance of chairperson Pat Sabo, the Council held a successful conference last year for more than 300 local educators who learned how to transform their local human rights programs in their respective CTA chapters in eight counties: Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Marin.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.