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Meet the Team: Angie Girard, IB Diploma Coordinator, IB French

Join us in getting to know a little more about Mme. Angie Girard, who has been at GNS for 28 years. She tells us what she loves about the IB Programme and shares what some of her interests are outside of school
What made you want to join the GNS community? 
When I finished my teacher certification at the University of Victoria, there were only two secondary French positions available—one was at GNS and one was in Port Alice. Having been through the independent school system myself (SMS alum) and growing up with a close friend who attended Norfolk House, I had a feeling GNS would be a good fit.

What are some of your interests outside of school? 
I enjoy watching movies, reading and travelling. I also go through phases of various crafts—I’m currently learning to use my Cricut.

What is something most people don’t know about you? 
I could tell you that I’m an amazing polka partner—something I told David Brooks, Head of Glenlyon Norfolk when he interviewed me all those years ago and asked me this very question. Or perhaps that in high school I played a variety of roles in the theatre productions (Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Anne in Anne of Green Gables and Ratty in Toad of Toad Hall) and being on stage is a secret passion of mine.

Why did you want to become a teacher? 
I had two amazing French teachers in high school who inspired me. At the time, I didn’t know exactly which career path I wanted to embark upon, but I knew it had to include French in some way. My pursuit of a degree in French led me to l’Université Laval in Quebec City and eventually to my teaching certification at UVic. My mom was the drama and public speaking teacher at SMS for many years, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

What is it about the IB Programme that you like?
I love the breadth, depth and curiosity that it develops in students, not only in their academics but also in their co-curricular activities. It is truly heartwarming to see students as they come into their own over the last two years of high school and how ready they are to embark upon their next adventure. 

How is the lead up to the IB Diploma exams on your end? 
There are definitely many moving parts to the three-week exam session in May. Planning begins in the fall of each year. Although I oversee the exam session, it would not run as smoothly as it does without the help of an amazing team—from the invigilators to the office support staff to the students themselves. It really comes down to teamwork.

Any advice for IB Diploma students at exam time? 
Each year, I visit the CLC 12 classes to walk them through what to expect on exam days and my talk also includes the following: eat well, sleep well, get fresh air/exercise and perhaps most importantly—do your best with truth and courage—that is all anyone can ask of you.

What would you be doing if you weren’t the IB Diploma Coordinator or teach at GNS? 
For the longest time, I told people that if I didn’t teach I would have to work at a stationary store or in an office, because I LOVE stationary supplies. These days, I would definitely say travel and experience the diverse cultures and cuisines of our amazing world.
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