“I will be glad when you guys stop trying to name it ‘Jim’s Gym,’ Green said.

Jim Green when he learned he was the 2018 Educator of the Year.
Morgan Hill Life file photo

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

It’s not very often a teacher gets a building named after them, but it will happen here soon. I know it’s a privilege because my dad was so honored as John Muir Middle School in San Jose named the gym after him and it will forever be known as the “George Airoldi Gym.” Now, Jim “Coach” Green will be so honored later this year as the Britton Gymnasium will be named after him.

In an email, he said the whole concept of naming the gym facility after him came out of nowhere.

“I never saw it coming,” he said. “Now that the process is completed I am experiencing a wave of emotions. I am overwhelmingly honored, flattered, grateful with a healthy portion of self-consciousness. I owe it to all, including myself, to enjoy the journey.”

Coach Green was first hired by the district in August 1977 as a physical education teacher. He became the activities director at Martin Murphy Middle School when it opened in 1980, before moving to Live Oak High School as activities director and varsity basketball coach.

Britton Middle School was his final destination beginning in 1995 until his retirement in 2013. Since “retirement,” Green has continued his love of coaching and passion for mentoring students by working part-time, continuing to coach, and serve as athletic director at Britton.

Green was selected as the 2018 Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year. The coach continues to be remembered for his leadership, dedication, work ethic and for the many lives he helped shape and the confidence he instilled in the athletes and students.

“I will be glad when you guys stop trying to name it ‘Jim’s Gym,’ he concluded. “Knock it off, LOL.”

Congratulations, Coach! You deserve this honor.

In other school news, Pilar Vazquez-Vialva, the assistant superintendent of Educational Services, was named the ACSA Region 8 Outstanding Administrator of the Year in the area of curriculum and instruction.

“Pilar is a champion for equity, considering the needs for all students and addressing a system that may inadvertently place barriers to success for some students,” according to a Morgan Hill Unified School District press release.

She brought the National Equity Project to Morgan Hill, inviting a number of administrators and teachers to join. In December, she received a letter that, based on her work with Building Equitable Learning Environments Network with the National Equity Project, MHUSD is considered for a visit from the U.S. Department of Education in 2023 to spotlight at least eight leading school districts across the country that are making meaningful investments in innovative, evidence-based policies and practices that center whole-child learning and development and can be elevated as exemplars for the broader education ecosystem.

Vazquez-Vialva is leading the work to create a commitment and ways of working aligned with the whole child, especially opening Wellness Centers at all campuses; creating a student-voice BELE council at high schools, a safe place to discuss race, discrimination, bias, and other topics. She’s creating a “9th Grade on Track” focused counseling program and also offering an innovative summer option called “Freshman Success” for 9th graders.

Congratulations, Pilar, on your well-deserved recognition for all the innovating you do at MHUSD.

Morgan Hill resident Auxilia William recently published her first book, “Emily and the Moon,” and will conduct a book signing March 11 at BookSmart.

“’Emily and the Moon’ is a colorful and engaging story that follows the adventures of Emily who is fascinated by the Moon. She wants to visit the Moon and tells the Moon about her wish. The Moon provides her with different suggestions on how she can visit, and in the end, Emily becomes an astronaut and lands on the Moon,” she said. “It is aimed at children ages 0 to 6 and is sure to delight and inspire young children and their parents with its message of following one’s dream.”

William is a professional educator and doctoral student who has spent most of her career teaching the next generation. She loves working with children with special needs and has an affinity for the natural world. She said she enjoys lying outside and staring at the moon and stars with her two daughters.

“I’m passionate about writing children’s books because I believe kids are the future and it’s essential to shape their minds and hearts positively,” she said.

The book is available for purchase on Amazon and at auxiliawilliam.com.