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Monte Vista High School Teacher Earns Prestigious Award, Check for $25,000

Kimberley Gilles was honored at a gala on Feb. 7 hosted by Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad.

NEA Foundation’s 2014 gala. Photo provided by The NEA Foundation
NEA Foundation’s 2014 gala. Photo provided by The NEA Foundation
A Monte Vista High School English teacher was recently awarded the prestigious "NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence." 

Kimberley Gilles was honored at a gala on Feb. 7 hosted by Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad.

According to a statement released by NEA, the awards are 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’ award was the evening’s finale.

“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 said in a statement. “In her classroom, she shares her passion for social justice to inspire students to lift up their own voices through reading and writing.”

Watch an archived version of this year's program.

This year’s event featured performances by nearly 80 elementary through high school students from Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools. Student performers took the more than 800 national education leaders and supporters in attendance on a journey around the globe with cultural performances from salsa dancing, madrigal singing, and African drumming, to a finale performance joined by Rashad.

The Foundation and its guests also celebrated their teachers,who received on-stage recognition.

Gilles was one of five finalists for the top award; all five finalists received special recognition at the gala, the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, and $10,000.

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