LILA teacher receives $15,000 award for ethics in education

Patricia Claire Gilbert, a teacher at Lakes International Language Academy in Forest Lake, has been chosen for the 2014 WEM Outstanding Educator Award for Ethics in Education.

The honor is accompanied by a $15,000 award.

Gilbert is one of six teachers honored by the WEM Foundation and Synergy & Leadership Exchange for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to student learning. She is one of two recipients of the Ethics in Education Award, which recognizes Minnesota teachers who embody ethical behavior and promote ethical development for students through classroom or school activities, policies or curriculum.

Gilbert, who has been teaching for seven years, currently teaches fifth grade at the public charter school and leads the after-school video production club.

“Claire stood in front of 750 students and staff and performed an original song dedicated to her students at the Staff Talent Show assembly last year. Midway through she became emotional and found it difficult to continue,” said Principal Shannon Peterson. “One by one, and then in waves of dozens, her current and former students rushed to the stage to support her to continue on. The love she has for her students and connection they feel to her was overflowing.”

Gilbert focuses not only on academics but also on the social and emotional development of her students.

“Claire’s commitment to ethics in education is best represented in her handling of student conflict. They are comfortable approaching her. And her students find themselves valued, respected and appreciated when in her presence,” shared a parent.

Teachers are nominated for the WEM program by students, parents, colleagues or community members. Those who accept the nomination provide additional information for consideration by Synergy & Leadership Exchange and a blue ribbon selection panel, which reviews and ranks the nominees.

Regional honorees will be announced in May.