Gerard Van Gils, the State Teacher of the Year for 2017, looks forward to representing the CNMI in Washington, D.C., along with other teachers of the year winners from across the country.
Van Gils of Kagman High School said that he, along with the other state teachers of the year, would be in conferences representing their respective states.
“I’ll be doing a number of conferences and a number of trips to represent our islands, at least six trips in 2017. I am looking forward to representing our teachers, our students, and representing our islands as well as we can,” he said.
Although no tentative date was provided as to when Van Gils would be going to the United States, part of his itinerary would be a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and he believes the conferences would be hosted within the second quarter of 2017.
“President-elect Trump hasn’t taken office yet and we don’t know when he’s going to want to host the Teacher of the Year for all areas, but it is probably going to be in April or early May 2017,” he said.
Van Gils hopes to possibly inspire other teachers to teach in the CNMI.
“Hopefully we can get people to come out here and want to teach or hopefully get people to come out here and have a nice vacation in the tropics,” said Van Gils.
Van Gils was named CNMI State Teacher of the Year 2017 last Nov. 23.
Van Gils, with KHS principal Leila Staffler, initiated a college preparation program called “Million Dollar Scholars,” which aims to raise money to provide higher education to students from the CNMI.