Our Stories

Mom & Daughter keep teaching in the family

There are two Ms. Gilberts working at Christel House Indianapolis. Nikita Gilbert (left) is the K – 8 ELL (English Language Learner) Interventionist and Melanie Gilbert, Nikita’s mother, teaches Special Education classes for Grades 3 – 5. It’s their first year teaching at Christel House.

They share a love for teaching. For Nikita, her interest in Spanish developed while in middle school and continued through college. “Working with ELL students, it really allows me to use my knowledge of Spanish to help students,” she says. “That’s how I became interested in teaching.” Melanie earned a degree in political science and did legal work early in her career. A mother of six daughters and an active volunteer at their schools, she discovered an enjoyment being in the classroom. “When a position came open, I applied. Teaching is in my blood.” Nikita and Melanie enjoy working at the same school. But not everyone is aware they’re related. “I think they put it together when they see us together – like during bus duty,” says Melanie. “They’ll call out, ‘Ms. Gilbert, Ms. Gilbert’ and we’ll both turn to look,” she says laughing. Both teachers enjoy their Christel House work connection. “We’re able to share and talk – the frustrations of the day or the excitements of the day,” says Melanie. “I think that makes it really special.” They appreciate the school’s culture. “I like it here at Christel House,” Melanie says. “What Miss DeHaan built here, her giving, it just fits my personality and what I like to do.”

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