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Participate announces 2018 Teacher of the Year award recipients

Participate, (formerly VIF International Education) a provider of leading-edge technology, comprehensive K-12 global education programs, and support services for educators, recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Teacher of the Year Awards. The Global Teacher of the Year Award and the Dual Language Teacher of the Year aim to recognize educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their students, school communities and global education. The winners of these awards have created innovative, open-learning environments that align to Participate’s mission of “learning without limits.”

Katie Gourlay, recipient of the Global Teacher of the Year Award, is a third-grade teacher at Stough Elementary in Raleigh, North Carolina, and third year teacher with Participate. She joined Participate after teaching in Malawi, Africa and London, England. Katie is passionate about exploring new ways to nurture students to become global citizens in the 21st century.

Casey Collins, also a recipient of Global Teacher of the Year Award, is a music teacher at Eastlawn Elementary School in Burlington, North Carolina. She holds a degree in Music Education and Flute Performance from Elon University, and is finishing her seventh year of teaching elementary music. In May of 2018 she will complete a Master of Music in Music Education degree, with an emphasis on teaching music from a multicultural perspective, from East Carolina University.

Jhonatan Marin Mesa has been awarded the Dual Language Teacher of the Year Award. Jhonatan is currently a 3rd grade dual language teacher at Howard Hall Elementary. Born in Medellin, Colombia, Jhonatan started with Participate as a teacher resident at Owen Elementary in 2010. Now in his second stint with Participate, he is finishing his 5th year at Howard Hall. He also received his Masters in elementary education from Elon University while teaching at Howard Hall in 2016.

“We are thrilled to honor Katie, Casey and Jhonatan for their commitment to integrating global and cultural education into their classrooms,” said David B. Young, CEO of Participate. “These three educators are exemplary models for Participate’s goal of empowering students to engage with the world around them and impact their communities on a global scale. We look forward to continuing to support them as they work to develop curious young minds – and future agents of change.”

About Participate

Participate partners with schools and districts to provide leading-edge technology, comprehensive frameworks and support services. These programs and services impact student outcomes by improving teacher practice through collaborative professional learning. For 30 years, educators have used Participate’s professional development and curriculum, language acquisition and cultural exchange teacher programs to create engaging learning environments that empower teachers and inspire students to create impact on a global scale. Participate is a certified B Corp and ‘Best for the World’ honoree headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.



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