Founder & Head of School, NOLA Micro Schools

As a mother of four, Kim Gibson has seen constant challenges in the school options presented to New Orleans residents.

Her children, Addison, Deacon, George and Jude, have attended six different schools, including Pre­K. Throughout this process, Gibson saw one thing as a constant: The need for more options in schools.

“NOLA Micro Schools was created with this in mind and with a focus on student­ driven learning, real world hands ­on projects and fostering an environment made up of critical thinking and innovation,” Gibson says.

Like many schools that have been founded, restarted or restructured in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, NOLA Micro Schools started out with a small number of students and will expand to accommodate the need.

“This is our first year, and we have students second to sixth grade in age – less than 15 for year one – and we’ll grow in grades and number each subsequent year,” Gibson says. “We are focusing on creating our space and our community, allowing our students to adapt to a new school, and being intentional in terms of implementing our curriculum as seamlessly as possible.”

And while there is much work to be done, she says the hard work is already starting to pay off.

“I find great joy in watching our students grow, realize their potential, make mistakes and learn from them,” she says, “and become stronger empathetic members of this amazing city.”