Edmond North High School art teacher Cara Bowerman has been selected as the 2018-2019 Edmond Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Bret Towne made the announcement Feb. 21 during the district’s Celebration of Excellence sponsored by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation. Bowerman was chosen by the district’s professional development committee following a comprehensive process which included an interview and a portfolio submission.
Bowerman has been in her current position for six years. She teaches painting, drawing, design and 3D sculpture and also serves as the head coach of Girls’ Cross Country and Track.
“In the classroom, Cara has created an atmosphere of trust and creativity where her students thrive and feel safe,” said Edmond North Principal Debreon Davis. “She takes the time to build relationships with each student she encounters and believes in giving students a fresh start every day.”
Bowerman started her teaching career at Edmond North. When she began, she was still healing from multiple fractures she sustained in a car accident when a driver going twice the speed limit hit her broadside. Having had to relearn how to walk following the accident, it was her students who gave her the motivation to press on through the daily pain.
“The doctor healed my broken bones, but my students healed me. And that is why I am a teacher,” exclaimed Bowerman in her teacher portfolio. “Every step I took down the halls of Edmond North High School, the stronger I got,” she wrote.
Although an elective, Bowerman says the art department at Edmond North High School functions just like any other core department, setting clear objectives for students and outlining expectations for behaviors while in the art room. Bowerman says aligning curriculums among all five art teachers and abiding by the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model enables the art department to better meet the needs of students.
“Being clear about our prerequisites, assessments, and regulations has resulted in numerous awards and more students choosing to advance through our program into Art and Design careers,” said Bowerman.
Bowerman and other art teachers at Edmond North will attend the National Art Education Association Convention next month where they will learn even more PLC strategies and new lesson plans about how to integrate art into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The trip is being funded by a grant.
“From seeking out grant opportunities to aligning curriculum to assisting students with career choices, Cara’s enthusiasm for her craft seems to have no limits,” said Superintendent Bret Towne. “Cara is a profile of courage and resiliency and a fitting representative of Edmond Public Schools’ 1500 teachers.
As Teacher of the Year, Bowerman will receive $1,000 from Citizens Bank of Edmond as well as the Edmond Public Schools Foundation. She also represents the district in the Oklahoma State Department of Education Teacher of the Year competition.
Other Teacher of the Year finalists include Angie Debo first-grade teacher Randy Ceynar; Will Rogers fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Wright; Washington Irving fifth-grade teacher Natalie Wehmuller; Edmond Santa Fe government teacher KC Williams; and Central social studies teacher Emily Busey.