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Meet the Team: Kim Waugh, Teacher/Librarian, Personal Project Coordinator and Young Round Square Coordinator

Learn a little bit about Ms. Kim Waugh, who has been at GNS since 2006. She tells us about her recently finished Masters at Royal Roads University, and what she loves about the Round Square program.
What made you want to be part of the GNS community? 
At that time, my kids were quite young. My son was almost two years old and my daughter was four years old, I was working half-time at the Victoria School District. I was friends with Mr. Jim Irvine, and when he was going on a science fair trip he said ‘Can you come in and cover for me for the week?’ So I did and I loved it. People got to know me here., I was able to do the odd day if I could and then Jim told me at the end of that year there was a job I should apply to. It was a Middle School job, and the principal at the time was David Graham, and he was so amazing…I taught here for a year, then I had to make a decision if I was going to continue with the school district or stay here, and I felt like there was so much about the school here that I loved. The values, education, the kids and staff were amazing. I loved working for David. I thought I’m going to stay, and I’ve been here ever since. 

Best part of working at GNS? 
I’d say a couple of things. The big difference, and I think why I stayed here, was the kids. The kids are amazing. They are really excited about learning and I love that. Also, the collaboration with teachers. I feel like I have become a much better teacher being here because of the amount of collaboration that we do. 

What interested you in the Round Square Coordinator role? 
I love the program. I love the idea behind it that it’s the continuing of learning, but learning outside of the classroom that focuses on learning from each other, learning from other cultures. Taking kids and getting them immersed in other schools somewhere else so they gain that experience and that reciprocal learning for when they come back. I love travelling and hope  I can spark that interest with the kids. Not this year of course, but usually I get to take them to a conference. It’s different than going on a vacation. Just watching them in this experience where they are creating friendships with kids from all over the world is pretty cool, and learning from them. I also love experiencing being in another culture with them. Before I was coordinator I went on a Senior School Round Square trip and we were in a remote area in Thailand. The school we were working with was at the centre, and then there were villages all around. The kids from all the surrounding villages would walk up to an hour each way in the bush to get to school. We travelled to the closest village. The families let you go inside their house, and as you can imagine, it’s not like here. So, we were walking back from the village and this girl said to me ‘I look at these kids and they are all smiling, every single one is happy, playing and I compare that to myself and friends at home. We don’t smile like that. This has changed my life.’ 

What are some of your interests? 
Travel and sports. I play in a women’s Field Hockey league and I play recreational Volleyball. So just being active. And hiking definitely—I’m really outdoorsy. 

What is something most people don’t know about you? 
I’ve played international Field Hockey. 

What do you like about living and working in Victoria? 
Growing up here, I love being close to my family and friends. I think having travelled to many places all over the world, and beautiful places, I really think this is one of the most beautiful. I love being by the ocean. I don’t think I could live away from the ocean. I love the mountains and that's why I like going outdoors and hiking, taking it all in. And just the lifestyle. I grew up on the island and lived in a smaller community. I get frustrated when I go to Vancouver and I have to wait in the line, or having that many people around, so I think I like the pace, beauty and being close to my family and friends in Victoria. 

Congratulations on finishing your Masters! Tell us about that journey. 
It’s a Masters in Leadership from Royal Roads University. I loved it because I felt like in the two weeks of in school classes our cohort got to know each other so well, and working together after was so easy. I loved talking with educators about education. Here the focus is often the kids and what’s going on at GNS. There, all our focus was on the big ideas in education, which I just loved. 
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