Guiding force

Mary Gibb is the new president of St. Edmond Catholic Schools. And though she doesn’t officially begin until Monday, she is already at work preparing for the 2013-14 school year, which starts Aug. 20.

As president of St. Edmond, Gibb will oversee the day-to-day functions of the school, evaluate administrators and work with the school board to achieve its long-range goals and strategic plans.

“The vision I have for St. Edmond Catholic School is to become the premiere Catholic school in the Sioux City Diocese,” Gibb said. “I will be working closely with the school board, with the staff, with my administrators, to reach that goal.”

Gibb comes to the position with a bachelor’s degree in science from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., and a master’s degree in science from Creighton University.

“I was a high school science teacher for five years. I taught eighth grade through 12th grade physical science, chemistry, physics. And I also got to teach a psychiatry class, which I loved,” she said. “And then I was the head volleyball coach, head boys and girls golf coach, senior class prom sponsor. Everything. In a little school you have to be everything.”

Gibb is not new to Fort Dodge. In 1994, after starting her master’s program, Gibb had her first counseling job at Fort Dodge Senior High.

“I was here from 1994 to 1998. That year, I got married to Judd, my husband. We met here and he is a Fort Dodge Senior High grad,” she said. “We got married in 1998 and moved to West Des Moines because he had a job at Des Moines Golf and Country Club and I got my job at Valley High School, where I’ve been a counselor for the past 15 years.”

Judd Gibb is the new head professional at Fort Dodge Country Club.

While serving as St. Edmond president, Mary Gibb is working her administrative endorsement.

“I’m halfway done with that,” she said.

Gibb, in addition to working with administrators, will also oversee the school curriculum and work to ensure a safe learning environment for its students.

“I want to see the curriculum be rigorous, challenging, preparing them for the next stage in their life so they can be successful at the college level, have great careers,” she said. “I will oversee and make sure this place is safe and secure, and that when parents send their children here they can be assured they’re getting a good education in a safe environment centered around a Christian faith.”

Already, Gibb has a good first impression of the school.

“I have not been anywhere in the community or talked to anybody that has said a negative word about St. Edmond school,” she said. “And that is very good to hear as the president of a school. That means we’re doing something right here. That probably impresses me the most, that everybody that comes here likes it. That’s important.”

Gibb’s favorite thing about being an educator, she said, is the students.

“I love youth. They keep me young and vibrant,” she said. “I know I’ll be working with more adults than students, but my goal is to still get in the schools and be around the students as much as possible, because I don’t want to lose that connection with student. That’s what keeps me going.”