Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College instructor Gayle Greene-Aguirre received the Jesse Palmer Award for Social Studies Educator of the Year for 2016 at the annual Mississippi Council for the Social Studies fall conference in Hattiesburg on October 21. Established in memory of Dr. Jesse Palmer, this award is given each year to an educator who demonstrates exemplary knowledge, skills, and dispositions in promoting quality social studies education in Mississippi schools.
A retired Army officer, Greene-Aguirre has a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Connecticut, a master of arts in Latin American history from the University of North Texas, and additional graduate work and educational certifications in English, Spanish, English as a Second Language and leadership. Teaching History fulltime at the college since 1999, Greene-Aguirre is currently the Honors Program director and was the Phi Theta Kappa adviser for 14 years at the Perkinston Campus. She was awarded Phi Theta Kappa’s International Adviser’s Award for Continued Excellence in 2012; the Association of Community College Trustees Southern Region Faculty Award (national) in 2009; the Phi Theta Kappa International Distinguished Adviser Award in 2009; the Mississippi Professional Educators Board Appreciation Award in 2008; Who’s Who Among Teachers in 2007; the Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Award for New Advisers in 2002; NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award (Austin, Texas) in 2002; the Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) award for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2003; Instructor of the Year for the Perkinston Campus in 2002; Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year for the Perkinston Campus in 2001; and the Bennie Warren Outstanding Phi Theta Kappa Adviser for Mississippi/Louisiana Region in 2001. She graduated from the first MGCCC Leadership Development Program in 2003; was chosen as a Faculty Scholar at the Phi Theta Kappa/Honors Institute held at the University of California-Las Angeles in 2004; served on the MGCCC college president’s Advisory Board from 2002-2004; was selected by MGCCC to represent the collage for the Business in Education Grant in Tokyo, Japan in 2007; served as an Exam Reader for the Advanced Placement World History Exams at Colorado State University in 2008; and was chosen Instructor of the Year at MGCCC in 2013.
The Mississippi Council for the Social Studies is a state affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies. The purpose of this organization is to promote social studies as the key subject in developing good citizenship, to provide a link among educators interested in social studies, and to aid the development of social studies educators professionally.