Verena Gibbs

School Administrator & Transformational Coach
Canada: British Columbia Hub | NORTH AMERICA

For as long as I can remember, I have loved working with children. There is an unfiltered honesty, endless imagination and often deep sense of kindness and fairness which calls me to show up authentic, responsive to the moment and open to change.  It’s this notion of “meeting them where they are at” which pushes me to stay present, learn more, and ask the right questions. Both responsiveness and relationship are key in growing and supporting learning environments and teams.

After completing my Bachelor of Education in 1999, I spent the next three years teaching in London and Belfast before returning home to Vancouver where I worked in as an educator, and then administrator, at an innovative, non-profit independent school. Part of the learning program included tools such as Non-Violent Communication, restorative circles, and an importance placed on the language we used. Through a shared commitment to learner success, educators, learners and their families created Personalized Learning Plans which informed our days, months and year together.

This expansive approach to learning inspired me to complete a Masters in Integrated Arts which allowed me to explore modalities such as Indigenous Knowledge and Living Inquiry. My professional path continued as a school leader with School District 50 – Haida Gwaii, where I learned the importance of self-awareness in the context of supporting diverse community needs. I learned that in close-knit communities, we build relationships first, because without them, few things get off the ground. Oftentimes these relationships extended beyond our school walls to include our local Indigenous agencies, municipalities, community groups, health care partners and community members.

Personal awareness and authentic relationships have been common threads throughout my personal and professional life. I am deeply grateful to my family, past and present, and to the land, sea and sky that shaped my childhood and continue to keep me grounded.