Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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Kelly Gill Honored As ‘Teacher of the Year’


When the National Honor Society’s tapping committee interrupted her class for the third time in one class period, video production teacher Kelly Gill was on the verge of exploding with frustration.

“In all honesty, when they came back in…I was getting mad because it was the third interruption,” Gill said.

But when Gill saw the look on NHS president Jacob Schnackenberg’s face, she knew that the joke was on her. Instead of tapping another round of student inductees, the committee had come to reveal the news that she was the 2011 Teacher of the Year.

“”Honestly, I was quite shocked,” Gill said.

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Each year, the Viking chapter of NHS selects a Teacher of the Year based on the votes of the society’s second year members.

“NHS sees the teacher of the year as someone who meets the level of character and academic involvement that deserves to be recognized, thus honored,” Frida Lara, NHS Co-Secretary, said.

Gill, as the sponsor of West’s active Pep Club, devotes many hours outside of the school day to interact with students.

“Gill is someone who is actively participating in the lives of her students. She’s at various events supporting ‘her kids’, and she teaches her kids what must be taught,” Lara said.

At the annual NHS induction ceremony, Gill was honored for her award with a Chick-Fil-A gift basket and given the opportunity to share her story.

“The speech I gave to was delving into me a little bit, which made me uncomfortable,” Gill said, “I don’t share about me very often so that part made me nervous.”

Whether it’s teaching in the classroom, planning pep assemblies, or simply chatting with her students, Gill has proved to be an influential individual in the school.

“Students also look up to her, I think, and that’s something that’s becoming very rare in schools,” Lara said.

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Kelly Gill Honored As ‘Teacher of the Year’