Last week the National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education came together for their 51st annual national NASDME conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The National Migrant Education Conference is the premier conference for migrant education each year and is also the largest migrant conference of any type in the United States.
This year it was with great pleasure that our very own Migrant Education Region 2, Gurkiran Gill, was awarded the title of National Teacher of the Year!
Gurkiran Gill has worked as a PK teacher in Region 2 since 2001. In that time, Gurkiran has educated more than 350 three and four year olds and their parents in a home-based PK instructional program. Gurkiran provides direct instruction to PK students using literature and hands-on resources. Often Gurkiran’s instruction is the first dual language experience for the Punjabi PK students. They read books, learn sounds and letters, and learn to count in English and Punjabi. Gurkiran’s PK students who participate at least one year make significant academic growth and upon completion are ready for Kindergarten. Gurkiran’s dedication to PK students goes beyond the instruction she provides. She takes a whole family approach and her students remain her students long after they enter school. Gurkiran is a highly respected educational leader. Parents turn to her for guidance regarding educational opportunities for students and how to navigate through the local school system. It is a common occurrence for Gurkiran to exclaim at a migrant service such as Speech and Debate, “This student was my student when she was 3 years old!” For families that move in and out of the Yuba/Sutter community, Gurkiran is a constant, an anchor for families to connect to when they return and reintegrate into the school system. And when new migrant families arrive to our community, Punjabi parents send them to Gurkiran who provides them guidance to enroll their children in school and become active parents in the school and migrant communities.
Congratulations Gurkiran Gill, NASDME Teacher of the Year!