Teacher At Heart
Gayle’s experience as an American Field Service foreign exchange student to Italy in 1960 laid the foundation for her love of foreign languages, cultures and history. As a certified Spanish teacher, she began her teaching career in Maryland at South Hagerstown High School while James was stationed at Ft. Ritchie, Md.
She especially enjoyed teaching others to speak and communicate in another language as a way of fostering better understanding between people. Seeing the light in the eyes of a student as they learn something new or master a new skill is the most exciting part of teaching for Gayle.
When James was transferred to Viet Nam, Gayle began work on her Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies (History) at the University of Florida. She also substitute taught in Gainesville, Florida at various schools. She continued to do this when James returned from Viet Nam and did his residency training at Shands Teaching Hospital in Gainesville, Florida.
When the young family moved to Stuart in 1971, Gayle enjoyed teaching part time as her family grew. She taught Latin American History at Indian River Community College, Spanish through the Martin County Adult Education system and substituted in many schools in Martin County. She also served as Registrar for the Child Birth Education Association.
Gayle put her teaching skills to the best use possible, teaching their four children the values that would make them successful in life. As their children grew, Gayle began teaching Spanish full time at Martin County High School while various teachers were on extended maternity leave.
Always ready to serve, she volunteered at all her children’s schools, served as President of the School Advisory Committees for Martin County High School and Stuart Middle School, the Comprehensive Planning Council and Chairman of the School Based Management Task Force. Gayle was also selected by the Commissioner of Education to serve on the State Instructional Materials Committee to select the textbooks for the State Textbook Adoption list in Chemistry and General Sciences.
Gayle is committed to improving reading education in our schools. Having 2 grandchildren who have dyslexia, she understands how important it is to provide the appropriate teaching methodologies for each student to equip them with this basic skill for learning.
Gayle continues to volunteer and guest teach in our schools. She is often in our local schools presenting the “Bubble Gum” bill to students and teaching them about how our state government works. Through her experience as a teacher and volunteer in our school system, Gayle understands the importance of local control and parent involvement. She believes that Florida, not the federal government, is best suited to determine how to prepare our students to succeed in college and their careers. She knows that when local control is emphasized and enhanced, parents are given a stronger voice in what their children are taught.