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Celebrating Gavin Bowers’ 35 Years at GNS

Junior School
There's no mistaking the positive impact that Gavin Bowers, Junior School Vice Principal, has had on GNS.

There’s no mistaking the positive impact that Gavin Bowers, Junior School Vice Principal, has had on GNS. His energy and enthusiasm have created a dynamic learning environment that has inspired students, parents and peers.

Mr. Bowers is bidding farewell to GNS after a 35-year tenure, leaving behind a legacy filled with joy, Heart Hero philanthropy and a deep passion for environmentalism.

His journey into education began in his youth, a path paved early through coaching soccer. His transition into teaching was a natural one.

“I coached soccer for 34 years, from 5-year-olds to the senior rep team going to provincials. I was the Northern rep and from that I learned early on just how much I loved being around kids.”

Bowers’ career in education began with a focus on physical education and Social Studies, where his creative approach to teaching became his hallmark.

“I started out teaching PE from K to 7 as well as Social Studies. I was doing my practicum at the same time at another school when I first got my start, and thought I was going to be trained to teach high school, but decided to stay at the Elementary level.” 

Bowers was then offered a job in Vancouver and taught there for a while before returning to Victoria with his wife. He reached out to GNS and asked if there was any chance of getting an interview and four days later he had a position to teach language and Social Studies for Grade 7.

One of his most cherished contributions to GNS has been his ability to bring learning to life, transforming the curriculum into an immersive and engaging experience for his students. An example of his immersive learning approach was through his adaptation of the play Men in Tights, where students were given a unique opportunity to blend drama and Social Studies learning. 

“We performed that with 44 Grade 7 boys. It was a hilarious and neat experience,” he recalls. “All of these kids in green Robin Hood hats and tights.”

Mr. Bowers has also been an advocate for healthy living and environmental stewardship. Under his guidance, the Junior School has taken significant steps toward more meaningful sustainability, particularly in the realms of waste reduction and proper waste sorting. 

There's no mistaking the positive impact that Gavin Bowers, Junior School Vice Principal, has had on GNS.

Recognizing the importance of instilling environmental responsibility in young minds, Mr. Bowers spearheaded initiatives that make composting a daily practice and have helped to educate students on the importance of recycling.

Through hands-on learning experiences and engaging sustainability projects, such as transforming how waste is handled after lunch, he has empowered the students to make meaningful contributions towards a healthier planet.

Mr. Bowers has also been instrumental in creating a culture of connection at GNS—from greeting students each morning to creating memorable experiences as the Heart Hero. 

His focus has always been on the small yet significant moments that make each day special. “It’s just those little wins that you have all the time,” he said, emphasizing the importance of making every student feel known and valued.

Throughout his time with GNS, Bowers has been guided by the GNS motto: Do your best through truth and courage. “The GNS motto is a simple one that kids can connect to,” he said, adding that his values in his own life align well with the GNS mission. 

As Bowers looks toward retirement, his wish for the students is one of continued simplicity and joy in learning. “Be your own individual, be who you are and enjoy what you do. I think kids are leaving here with that attitude.”

For the students who have walked the corridors of the GNS Junior School, Bowers hopes they carry forward the lessons of cherishing each moment. Reflecting on the impact of initiatives like Heart Hero, he is reminded of the lasting memories and meaningful connections forged through simple acts of creativity and kindness.

As Gavin Bowers steps away from Glenlyon Norfolk School, he leaves behind a community forever enriched by his dedication to making every moment count. 

The students, faculty and parents of GNS bid farewell to a beloved administrator, mentor and friend, knowing that the seeds of inspiration and connection he has sown will continue to flourish for generations to come.