With an early interest in both psychology and teaching, Nanette L. Yabiku earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Sonoma State University in 1984 and began her career as a teacher with the Bakersfield City School District in California, where she has excelled for over 35 years. First joining the John C. Fremont Elementary School, where she taught kindergarten, second and third grade, she went on to spend time teaching at the Ramon Garza Elementary School before accepting a position at the Dr. Juliet Thorner Elementary School. During this period, she began taking courses with the John Maxwell Team as a way to further develop her leadership skills, and achieved a certification in coaching. Finding success with these coaching methods in the classroom, when a position for an academic coach opened up at the Dr. Juliet Thorner Elementary School, she applied and began work in that position in 2016. Today, Ms. Yabiku is responsible for coaching teachers, developing curriculum and serves as a special education facilitator for teachers, students and families.
Furthermore, Ms. Yabiku is also an executive director with the Maxwell Leadership Certified Team, where she offers coaching in the Maxwell method, professional development, public speaking, and life and business, as well as providing leadership assessments. She works closely with clients on an individual basis, providing coaching and support for a wide range of professionals, from authors struggling with their books to people emerging from retirement to start a new business. Attributing much of her success to her continued emphasis on learning and professional growth, she has additionally been certified in the DISC model of behavior by the John Maxwell Team and in cognitive coaching by the Cognitive Coaching Foundation, and achieved a master’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2018. Ms. Yabiku considers the most important lesson she has learned over the years to be the importance of pushing boundaries to reach new levels that you may never have imagined for yourself.
Standing out in her field for her skill in working with people who have very different personality types, Ms. Yabiku is continually driven both by her own desire to keep learning and the impact she has on the lives of others. Her passion has always been to help other people better themselves and improve their lives, and she finds it incredibly satisfying to see her clients and students go on to excel. Above everything, she considers the highlight of her career to be having helped to create a program at her elementary school which allowed for the full inclusion of children with special needs; the program ensured that these students were fully integrated into general education classes through the support of specialists.
For her excellence, Ms. Yabiku has received a number of honors and accolades from the Bakersfield City School District, including several education and leadership awards and, most recently, an award for accountability in 2021. She also received a volunteer award from the American Heart Association for her involvement in helping to raise more than $100,000 for the organization. In addition to her work with the American Heart Association, she has also spent the last year affiliated with the Association of California School Administrators in order to stay up to date with developments in her field. Ms. Yabiku hopes to leave behind a legacy as someone who cared about others, was skilled at her job and did her utmost to train others to be the best that they could be.