Teacher Nancy Gill Announced as 2012 Norah Morgan Award Winner

Pablo Felices Luna and Debra McLauchlan with Nancy Gill (middle)

Carousel Players is pleased to announce that Nancy Gill, a Grade 8 and visual arts teacher for Grades 2 to 8 at Power Glen School, is the 2012 winner of the Norah Morgan Memorial Award.

Established by Carousel Players, the award celebrates the contributions and achievements of elementary school teachers who have made a strong contribution to the arts in Niagararegion schools. On January 10th at the District School Board of Niagara meeting, the Norah Morgan Award presentation will be made to Ms. Gill by Debra McLauchlan, Chair of the Carousel Players Board of Directors. One of the benefits of the award is that Ms. Gill’s school will receive a free performance on Tuesday April 17, 2012 at 2pm by Carousel Players of the play Spelling 2-5-5 for Grades 4 to 8 students. The play promotes a greater understanding of children diagnosed with autism and the issues they face at home and school

This is the seventh annual presentation of the award in memory of drama education pioneer Norah Morgan pictured here. Previous winners of the award include teachers Laurie Crain-Anez (2011), Sharon Hellinga (2010), Anneliese Burke (2009), Jerome Black (2008), Barb Hennessy (2007) and Tim Mallory (2006). The Norah Morgan Memorial Award alternates from year to year between the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board.

School principal Candi Sitko who nominated Gill said, “Nancy is an outstanding teacher, an artist herself who is very passionate about the instruction of the visual arts. On any given day, at any given time, art is happening in Nancy’s classroom, whether it be using a mirror to draw a self-portrait in Grade 7, creating a dragon in Grade 4, or learning about the importance of lines in Grade 2. Once a year, Nancy organizes an “Art Gallery Opening” for her intermediate students that includes a detailed written passage about the process, the thinking and the reasoning behind each student’s artwork. She cares about her students being the best they can be in all areas of their lives. Visual arts is the vehicle she uses to accomplish this.” Nancy Gill also works with groups of Niagara teachers in Visual Arts Learning Groups to share her ideas and arts resources to integrate the Visual Arts in their classroom activities. For over six years, Ms. Gill has been a member of the Elementary Arts Council and Elementary Arts Showcase committee and helped to develop curriculum and visual arts resources for teachers.

“I chose to become a teacher in my thirties and I went to Brock University and graduated with 2 degrees in 5 years,” said Nancy Gill. “At Brock I received great encouragement from two mentors in particular – Derek Knight and Warren Hartman. All of my fifteen years of teaching have been at Power Glen School in St. Catharines– fourteen years teaching Grade 6 and teaching Grade 8 for the first time this year. I really enjoy incorporating all of the arts into my every day classroom, teaching my students new ways of looking at art and helping them to work to their potential. I am honoured to be nominated by my school and to receive this award.”

Norah Morgan was one of the most influential international ambassadors of drama education for both students and teachers for over fifty years. In 1972, Norah Morgan worked with Des Davis in developing a vision for Carousel Players that continues to inspire students and teachers locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. The Norah Morgan Memorial Award honours her leadership and influence in enriching the lives of young people through the arts.

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