Dr. Lance Gibbon
Dr. Lance Gibbon is a dynamic leader in education, serving a diverse range of students, staff, and families for three decades in the Puget Sound area. Dr. Gibbon’s efforts have contributed to improved student achievement, expanded opportunities, and state and national awards. A passionate volunteer and community supporter, Dr. Gibbon was twice recognized as Community Leader of the Year.
After earning a B.A. in Music Education, Dr. Gibbon obtained a Master’s in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in Education from Seattle Pacific University. During his distinguished career, he has served as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, and teacher.
Cultivating connections and enhancing team building through creative strategies and community partnerships, Dr. Gibbon exemplifies servant leadership. While managing million-dollar budgets, he fosters positive, inclusive learning environments for students, educators, and staff members alike.
Dr. Gibbon supports many organizations, including Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He has been honored with awards from Empower Youth Network, the Washington School Public Relations Association, Best of Whidbey, and Washington Green Schools.
A long-time professional musician, music producer, and arts supporter, Dr. Gibbon is involved with JazzClubsNW and plays keyboards at his church. He and his wife Michelle enjoy spending time with family, camping in their retro trailer, and attending live music events.
"For nearly the last decade, I have personally witnessed Dr. Gibbon lead two districts through successes and challenges with a leadership style centered on student learning, creating strong connections with students, families, employee groups and the community, and integrity with a strong moral compass."
- Conor Laffey, Chief Communications Officer, Snoqualmie Valley School District
"I have worked with Lance for several years, as the leader of our district, and as a partner with our labor group. His guidance and support have made me a better principal. And his efforts have significantly improved our school district."
- Kate Valenzuela, Principal, Crescent Harbor Elementary School
"Dr. Gibbon is one of the most forward thinking and effective leaders I have had the pleasure of working with. He holds an exceptionally high bar in supporting a diverse culture with inclusion, always diligent to help people navigate their way through multiple conflicting priorities in education."
- Gus Apostol, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft
"Lance is incredibly intelligent and relational with broad understanding of all aspects of a school district. He consistently made time to be out interacting with staff and students. He was very visible and his efforts made him a very relatable leader. He is a great listener and very genuine."
- Ryan Stokes, Assistant Superintendent/CFO, Snoqualmie Valley School District
There are lots of great reading lists with education and leadership books. Rather than replicate those, Dr. Lance Gibbon shares some terrific books not specifically related to education that have really helped him and his team during the past few years. He's provided a brief comment about each to hopefully encourage you to check them out!
By Huston Kraft
At the first conference I attended as pandemic restrictions eased, Huston Kraft shared an incredibly moving and challenging message about kindness. The top topic was timely, relevant, and powerful. We like to talk about kindness, but it’s much harder and less common than we want to admit. As we continue to struggle with civility and culture in our schools and society, Kraft’s book and kindness are just what we need right now to begin to heal some of the relational and cultural damage that’s been done.
Amaze Every Customer Every Time
By Shep Hyken
Customer service is not something we often discuss in public education, but it is both applicable and transfomative. I read this book with my district office and school front office staff and it transformed the way we served our staff, families, and one another. Hyken uses the Ace Hardware story as the framework for 52 practical tools to change the way we solve problems and care for our customers. The short chapters make it easy to incorporate into weekly or monthly meetings.
By Stephen M.R. Covey
In the past few years, trust has eroded in our culture and school and we need practical tools to begin to rebuild. This book (and the accompanying card set) is invaluable in equipping leaders with strategies to understand the trust challenges they face and to get things back on track. I attended a workshop with Covey and was impressed with how easy his concepts and tools were to understand and apply.
By Dr. Henry Cloud
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize or accept that good things can really be barriers to what’s possible and what we need to do in our work or lives. It’s even harder to let them go. This book was both reassuring and challenging to me as I faced some unexpected challenges and changes in my life recently. Dr. Cloud provides practical advice to identify and understand what might be ending (or need to end) in order to make way for something far better.
By Chip Heath and Dan Heath
It’s easy to underestimate the long-lasting impacts (good and bad) of certain moments: your first day on the job, the first day at school, a memorable lesson or class project, celebrating accomplishments, and more. Even mundane moments can be made memorable with a little intentionality. I used this book as a focus for a leadership team retreat I facilitated. To give the participants firsthand experience with the strategies, we incorporated the concepts throughout the two-day event. Our leaders in every department and school were able to identify creative ways to apply the ideas and transform the experiences for their teams and customers.
By Daniel Coyle
In the middle of the pandemic with an exhausted team, this book challenged me and my superintendent’s cabinet to re-examine the way we were operating. It provided us with some great ideas drawn from successful organizations and current research to build a sense of team, spark collaboration, and make positive changes. Coyle provides practical advice and strategies (always easier said than done) that can help you and your team get rid of any toxicity and do great work together.
I’ve been active in both Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs in my local community and I urge you to join a club in your community. They make tangible positive impacts on the lives of kids and families in our local community as well as internationally providing weekend food bags for families in need, scholarships for students to continue their education after high school, grants to other nonprofits, working to end polio around the world, conducting volunteer service projects and awareness campaigns, and more.
In addition to the organizations listed above, Dr. Lance Gibbon encourages supporting your local educational foundation and PTSA. These organizations support innovation in our schools by reinvesting community dollars into the classroom through grants, providing volunteers, and offering scholarships for students in need.
Dr. Lance Gibbon in the News
Clippings from news stories about the work of Dr. Gibbon over the past decade.
Hood Canal Leader Wants to Know Your Name | Shelton-Mason County Journal
Dr. Lance Gibbon Recaps Participation in Mount Si Senior Center Gala | Yahoo!
Dr Lance Gibbon Urges Districts to Sustain Arts Funding Despite Budget Shortfalls | EIN Presswire
Dr. Lance Gibbon Selected as New Superintendent of the Hood Canal School District | Go Skagit
Q&A: Snoqualmie Valley School District Superintendent Lance Gibbon | A&E | 425magazine.com
Oak Harbor Schools superintendent teaches improv jazz | Whidbey News-Times
Lance Gibbon's Reader Reply | School Administrator Magazine - June 2023
Dr. Lance Gibbon Joins Maple Valley Historical Society Board of Directors | Yahoo
Washington Schools Recognized for Sustainability and Environmental Education | by OPSI
Dr. Lance Gibbon Launches New Website Offering Education Resources | Yahoo
Oak Harbor school district recognized for its green efforts | Whidbey News-Times
Bipartisan Bill Will Help Students in Schools That Serve Military Bases and Indian Tribes | Press Release
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Dr. Lance Gibbon Announces Re-release of Christmas Album | Newswires
Oak Harbor is biggest western Washington school district to resume in-person learning | king5.com
Editorial: Clearly, Oak Harbor schools are doing an ‘OHmazing’ job | Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor Superintendent Looks Forward to Future | Whidbey Weekly
Preserving the love of learning with lasting memories | Sound Off by Lance Gibbon | Whidbey News-Times
Editorial: Voters can be confident district will be fiscally responsible with levy dollars | Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor scores all-time best 91.4 percent graduation rate | Whidbey News-Times
Superintendent gets glowing review, 3.3 percent raise | Whidbey News-Times
Annual awards banquet draws crowd of the ‘Best’ | Whidbey News-Times
Congratulations to district for improving students’ education | In Our Opinion | Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor School District superintendent earns a passing grade | Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor schools open doors to local business leaders | Whidbey News-Times
Gibbon, others take chilly challenge | Whidbey News-Times
Gibbon is Oak Harbor's new schools chief | Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor schools receive $1.8 million grant | Whidbey News-Times
$2.16 million grant funds Oak Harbor reading program | Whidbey News-Times
Burgeoning ‘HomeConnection’ has a new home | Whidbey News-Times
Selected as New Leader | Hazard Young Attea & Associates
Leader Aims for Stability & Enhanced Community Engagement | Newsbreak
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Educational Leader | Student Champion | Chief Evangelist | Leadership Consultant | Team Builder | Musician | Lifelong Learner