Gill has been teaching generations of Montclair students - he has 52 years under his belt.
"Who can say that - 'I've been in the building 52 years!'" said Principal Erika Pierce.
"Kids are great - I love kids. They're honest, forgiving, they don't hold grudges," said Gill.
Gill will leave in June 2023 - he has one more year to go because he refuses to break the three-year commitment he made to the kids who came to him in the sixth grade.
He promised to be with them through their eighth-grade year.
"I would feel like I let them down," said Gill.
Chances are - he has never done that.
Gill will be busy when he leaves. He is writing a book called 'No More Chairs.'
The name comes from bias he saw at 9 years old when he and his Black friend, Archie, went to a birthday party, and the mother turned Archie away, saying there were no more chairs.
"And she said it again, 'you can come in, Archie can't,' - my friend was humiliated," Gill said.
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It stayed with Mr. Gill, and helps shape how he teaches, nurtures and leads. He has kept an empty chair in his class and his students understand.
"It's a symbol to show kids there is room for everyone - there's always a chair," Gill adds.
So give him until next June - a moment to relax, take a break, be lauded - and then he will begin his new chapter in life about the lesson in bias that helped make him the man, father, grandfather teacher and mentor that he is.
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