LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Jaquanna Gillis

Position: Seventh Grade Math Teacher
School: Ruffner Academy
School District: Norfolk Public Schools
City, State: Norfolk , VA

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Jaquanna Gillis received two nominations from her friend, Shavard Branam, as well as an anonymous colleague. The following profile contains text from both nominations.

Ms. Gillis goes above and beyond for her students at Ruffner Academy She always stays after hours and dedicates her time. One day, she noticed it was getting cold, and one of her students always came to school with a sweater, but no jacket. With the parents' permission, she spent her own money and purchased this student a coat. She also feeds the homeless.

Ms. Gillis very frequently receives letters of appreciation from her middle school students regarding how she helps them become confident in themselves and overcome academic and personal challenges. She is a Norfolk State University alumna and active servant in her community both individually and corporately through her sorority Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. She's what the children need, and they are glad she's in their life! 

Comments (4)

Jeryl K. Scott Posted over a year ago

WOW!! That is my answer for such an amazing educator. Once I was assigned to be the building principal at Ruffner four years ago, I witnessed an amazing educator who not only cared for her students, but she cared for her fellow educators. For example, I have ssen Ms. Gillis use her own funds to help students in need when the weather changed. Further, I have seen her help her colleagues with purchasing lunch and guiding their instructional practces by giving up her planning time to go in and model lessons. Ms. Gillis has been stellar in what she does and our Math improvment data reflects the work that she does not only in her classroom, but in other Math classes across the school. What is amazing, is that she not only focuses on her subject, she was willing to help in other contents so that the school can improve as a whole. As a school with a socially-distressed student popultion, Ms.Gillis also works with the Family Engagement specialist to meet parents at their homes, jobs, sports fields, etc to inform parents on student progress. For example, during one of our Football games, Ms. Gillis had the school assignment and worked with the student in the bleachers during the game! What an amazing display of commitment that I have seen from this educator.

Hunt Posted over a year ago

She deserves this, point blank period! She loves her career and her kids lover her!

Lauren Richardson Posted over a year ago

Ms. Gillis is an amazing teacher! She is no nonsense and the kids love her. She is always working to help her students improve. She stays back after school almost everyday and you can really tell by the progress her students make every quarter. She truly is the best!

Omari West Posted over a year ago