Welcome to Journey Middle School, home of the Dragons and People Run to Be Here!
I am Ms. Jennifer Gibson and will be the new principal of Journey Middle School. This will be my second year at the school, but my 14th in the school district. I am looking forward to getting to know every student and family in our school. Here are a few details about my background before I came to Journey.
I grew up in Vancouver and loved skiing at Whistler. I was the student in high school who said: “I’m never going to university!” After spending 3 weeks in France when I was 15, my goal in life was to become bilingual in French. At 18, I moved to France to be a nanny and had to enroll in university to have a student visa. The reason why I said I was never going to go to university was because I thought it was too hard and I wouldn’t be successful. Well, going to university in a foreign country in a language you don’t know is pretty hard, but I did it. I gained the confidence to try a post-secondary institution in Canada. I had always wanted to be a teacher, so when I returned to Vancouver, I enrolled at Capilano College to take some pre-requisite courses to get into UBC. I went to UBC for my third year, and then moved to Montreal for my fourth year and attended Concordia University. I finished my Bachelor of Arts at UBC, then applied for Education and got in.
I started teaching in 1994 in the Surrey and Langley school districts. I taught Core French, French Immersion, International Baccalaureate French, and English in various high schools. I spent 14 years in the Surrey School District. I had another opportunity presented to me: my gramma said that no one in her family had ever done a Master’s Degree and she would pay for me to go, if I wanted to do the degree. I went to Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Washington and completed my degree in 2000.
My academic advisor encouraged me to apply to be a vice-principal, but I wanted to start our family. Eventually, we moved to Vancouver Island and I started teaching in the Comox Valley School District. I taught French Immersion in a middle school there, then landed a Kindergarten French Immersion job. My family and I lived in the Comox Valley for 4 years and enjoyed hiking and going to the many beaches there.
In 2010 we moved to Langford where I started teaching at Ecole John Stubbs. I worked there for 7 years, teaching French Immersion Kindergarten and grades 8 & 9. I went to Dunsmuir for one year to teach a core Grade 7 class and got to teach my daughter and a lot of her friends.
My first placement as a vice-principal was back at John Stubbs. I worked at John Stubbs for 5 years as a vice-principal. Having spent 12 years at John Stubbs has allowed me to develop long lasting relationships with the community there. The first group of students I taught, who were in kindergarten, just graduated this year! I was so proud to see this group finish their educational journey.
Last September I started as a vice-principal at Journey and was teaching a Grade 8 class part time, then started supporting the French Immersion program in Milne’s Landing. I had the privilege of learning about Poirier, Journey, and EMCS and their French programs, and making connections with some of the students and staff. Last year I learned a lot about Journey Middle School and started to get to know the staff and students.
Moving forward to the 2023-2024 school year, I’m looking forward to building on the relationships I’ve started to make and continuing to get to know our students, families, and community.
Our staff has had lots of discussions about how to bring back some of the old Journey traditions and how to bring new ones in as well. We are all very fortunate to have such a dedicated staff who are willing to coach, host clubs, organize amazing field trips, and create the most fun middle school events ever!
Please stay tuned for more details about the year ahead. For now, I hope you all enjoy a wonderful summer in the sun!