Educator Profile    Educators

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling (WA '13)


American Community Schools
Abu Dhabi

Subject(s) taught: AP Government and Politics, Global Studies

At the time of the Award, Nathan Gibbs-Bowling was:

Lincoln High School
Tacoma, WA

Subject(s) taught: Social Studies

Biographical Information

For a man who has been described as a “cheerleader, drill sergeant and professor,” it is no surprise that social studies teacher Nathan Gibbs-Bowling at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, WA is considered the “best teacher in the state” by one of his colleagues. Perhaps equally impressive, though he isn’t a rock star or famous actor, his fans—also known as his students—have lauded his exceptional talents as a dynamic and engaging classroom teacher.

Gibbs-Bowling is known as a demanding teacher, not an “Easy ‘A’,” who is highly respected for his Advanced Placement Government and Advanced Placement Human Geography classes. His students skillfully re-argue famous Supreme Court cases where they develop their critical thinking, literacy and writing skills. An educator with high expectations for students at all levels, he is also an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teacher who presents a senior seminar on successful college applications. Lincoln High School students come from a diversity of backgrounds and achieve an 88% graduation rate with 75% of them accepted to college. Graduates have received over $3 million in scholarships. Gibbs-Bowling lives in the community and strives to prepare young adults who will return to support the neighborhood in which they grew up.

As a founding member of the school’s Professional Development Leadership Team, he mentors teachers in classroom management. He created Teachers United, which researches issues, forms a position and brings education to the fore with community leaders and legislators. His expertise in instructional design is evident in the curriculum he co-developed on Tacoma history and the Washington state history curriculum he wrote based on primary source materials. And now Nathan Gibbs-Bowling has made history himself as his state’s Milken Educator Award recipient for 2013.

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Nathan Gibbs-Bowling Newsletters

Your Voices, Amplified
Feb 17, 2015

35 Positive Signs for the Future of Our Country
Apr 18, 2014

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling In The News

Lincoln High Teacher Helps Students Process Election Disappointment
KING-TV  |  NBC  |  Nov 09, 2016  |  Seattle, WA

What We Owe the Next Generation of Teachers
HomeRoom  |  U.S. Department of Education  |  Oct 17, 2016  |  Washington, D.C.

Meet 5 Superstar Teachers Who Won the 'Oscars of Teaching'
Parade  |  Aug 12, 2016  |  New York, NY

The Conversation I'm Tired of Not Having
A Teacher's Evolving Mind  |  Jan 24, 2016  |  Tacoma, WA

Tacoma History Teacher Is Finalist for National Award
The Seattle Times  |  Jan 12, 2016  |  Seattle, WA

Lincoln High’s Gibbs-Bowling Finalist for National Teacher of the Year
The News Tribune  |  Jan 12, 2016  |  Tacoma, WA

Lincoln High’s Nathan Gibbs-Bowling Named Washington Teacher of the Year
The News Tribune  |  Sep 21, 2015  |  Tacoma, WA

Guest: It’s Time to Get Serious About Keeping Effective Teachers
Seattle Times  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  Seattle, WA

Beloved teacher lands national honor
The Olympian  |  Apr 19, 2014  |  Olympia, Washington

Tacoma teacher wins national education award
KING-TV  |  NBC  |  Apr 16, 2014  |  Seattle, Washington

Lincoln High teacher Nathan Gibbs-Bowling named one of America's top teachers
News Tribune  |  Apr 16, 2014  |  Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award
KUOW-FM  |  NPR  |  Apr 16, 2014  |  Seattle, Washington

Tacoma teacher is $25,000 award recipient
Washington Education Assn.  |  Apr 15, 2014  |  Federal Way, Washington