Kimberley Gilles of San Ramon Valley EA Takes Home Top NEA Foundation Award
At the recent NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala
in Washington DC, Kimberley Gilles, an educator at Monte Vista High School in Danville in the Bay Area, received one of public education’s top honors: the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence and $25,000.
Known as the Academy Awards of public education, the NEA Foundation’s gala is an annual celebration of the men and women who work in America’s public schools. The NEA Foundation presented nearly 40 awards to exceptional educators and dedicated supporters of public education over the course of the program. Gilles is a veteran teacher in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and a member of the San Ramon Valley Education Association.
“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.”
Watch Gilles' heartfelt acceptance speech here:
Gilles’ students have already benefited from her award. Last fall, they received digital arts training, which they used to create an original video honoring their teacher. Watch the student-made video done in the format of the “Law and Order” television show. The video highlights Gilles’ social justice and community work and includes her comments about the vital importance of public education.