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Tribute To Joanne Ron Gilbert

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Joanne Ron Gilbert, a dedicated community leader who is being honored as an inductee into the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame.

Joanne Ron Gilbert is an educator who specializes in at risk students. According to her nomination, she ``has received no formal awards, but is recognized by those who know her as someone who has transformed lives.'' Transferred from Detroit to San Mateo County in 1984, newly divorced with a teenaged son, her job was soon eliminated. She worked out a homesharing plan to provide her son with a secure environment, returned to school to earn a teaching credential, got a full-time teaching job, and developed a private tutoring practice. She also managed to volunteer as a landlord-tenant dispute mediator, coordinate events for the Jazz for the Homeless Program, and worked in local political campaigns. As a member of the county Human Relations Commission, she developed the first and only County Hate Crimes Conference. In 1992, finally able to buy her own condominium and seeing her son enter law school, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. During her battle with this disease, which left her voiceless and unable to work for 3 months, she maintained correspondence with her students, providing them with support and counsel. Back at work since February 1995, she is taking classes in alternative dispute resolution and educational therapy.

Mr. Speaker, Joanne Ron Gilbert is an outstanding citizen and I salute her for her remarkable contributions and commitment to our community. I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring and congratulating her on being inducted into the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame.