gmhTODAY 10 gmhToday Sept Oct 2016 - Page 73

With an expanded space, Kerr has also expanded her class size from four students to six per class, and still she has a waiting list. She has also extended her hours. Fast approaching her 100-student mark, Kerr expressed surprise at how widespread the genuine desire to sew is within the Gilroy community that she’s lived in for 37 years. “I was completely taken aback by the response that I got, completely.” Last April, Kerr organized the first Proud To Be Me fashion show, which was a huge hit. The room was filled to capacity and beyond with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, all gathered to celebrate their students’ accomplishments. “Watching my students, seeing the looks on their faces, they were so proud, so proud,” Kerr said smiling. The second annual fashion show is slated for April 2017. Kerr is currently searching for a venue in Gilroy, noting that she wouldn’t want it any other place, to accommodate the anticipated crowd. Also on the calendar is an Open House on Saturday, September 10th from 1-4 pm to celebrate the new space. On October 29th, a Halloween Open House, and a Christmas boutique in early December. On the third Thursday of every month, students’ hand-made items are offered for sale in the school’s Student Store. Kerr will be forever appreciative of her success, and of her students. Equally so, is her appreciation for the parents of those students. “The girls are great, but the parents are fantastic,” Kerr said. “They’re very supportive. It’s the parents who want their children to feel successful; without that, the kids are limited.” Thanks to Martha and Evelyn, Kerr never felt limited, and she wants the same for her students. The message seems to be getting through. Student Natalie Navarro, who is nine years old, may not be aware of Kerr’s teaching philosophy; she just knows that her teacher cares. “She’s really nice, and she’s a very helpful person,” Navarro said of Kerr, adding that “sometimes, she has so much work to do, but she still finds time for us.” Proud To Be Me Sewing School GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 73