The Oregon Association for Comprehensive Education (OACE) would like to pay tribute to board member Gail Speich Merrion who recently passed away.
Gail was a unique, committed, kindhearted and life-long educator who dedicated 50 years of her life in service to others. Her legacy encompasses a lifetime of involvement for the well-being of migrant students, parents, like-minded colleagues, teachers and educational administrators will serve as an inspiration and example for future educators. Her commitment to bilingual education was honored when she received the “Migrant Education Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Oregon Department of Education. Since 1971, Gail was involved in ESL instruction, Migrant Education, Bilingual/Cross Cultural Education, Teacher Education and parent involvement for Communities of Color statewide. As the Migrant Education administrator for the Hillsboro S.D., Gail utilized her bilingual and cross-cultural skills and keen understanding of other cultures to secure resources and enhance services to students, future bilingual teachers, parents and educators. Gail's contributions to the Oregon Migrant Education Program, Oregon Association for Bilingual Education, Bilingual Teacher Pathway Program and most recently, the Oregon Association for Comprehensive Education, were among her numerous educational endeavors. Even after retirement in 2008, Gail continued to serve as a statewide migrant program evaluator and active member of the OACE Board where she participated in the recruitment and selection of conference keynoters, session presenters, school district participants, registration, interpretation/translation services and post conference evaluations. Gail's dedication, commitment, contributions and sincere caring for the well-being of students, parents, para-educators, teachers and educational administrators will never be forgotten. She was an inspiration and good friend to all who knew her and especially the OACE Board and Planning Committee. We are grateful for all her contributions and sincerely saddened by her passing. There is a poem, "Some People" that says; "Some people come and stay in our lives for a while and leave a foot print on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same." This sums up Gail. She will forever be in our hearts. Gone but not forgotten. QUE DIOS LA GUARDE Y LA BENDIGA