IB Coordinator works to be best in Nevada



With many changes in motion since the inception of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, it is safe to assume that students and parents have high expectations for the program. No one, however,  has greater expectations than IB Coordinator Tony Gebbia.
“I want to do it better here then we have ever done it before,”  Gebbia said of Spring Valley’s recent transition into an IB school.
With the program in it’s early stages, Gebbia might be considered ambitious, however with his 19 years of experience as an I.B coordinator and teacher at Valley High School, he believes that his goal is an attainable one.
Gebbia hopes to be successful in implementing IB by addressing the problems that many IB programs have at other schools. One problem that exists in some programs is the retention rate between freshman and senior year. At most IB schools, the average retention rate is between 70 percent and 80 percent.
“Students that are IB students, just like AP students, they tend to get involved in a lot of stuff (athletics, leadership, clubs)[…] they get too busy to do all of it,” Gebbia said, noting that extra support was something he considered important for active students.
Students feel the pressure once in IB and it can be hard to balance all of those things. Nevertheless, this rate can be improved upon with the help of SV faculty.
“The teachers here, across the board, are complete professionals. I’ve really been kinda blown away,”  Gebbia said.
After IB was formally implemented, The teachers went to work. Mrs. Nicole  Kellogg-Gent, an IB English Teacher, says that a lot of time was spent learning about the philosophy and guidelines of the program. Most staff development days and department meetings were devoted to the topic of IB.
With the whole school rallying behind IB, he is confident that the staff will help him push IB forward.
But in order for Spring Valley to become the “best,” as Gebbia hopes, it comes down to the work and involvement of the students.