As an eight-year teacher at Westwood High School, John-David Bowman has enriched countless students’ lives. His hard work paid off November 20, 2014, when he was named as the 2015 Arizona Teacher of the Year at the Arizona Educational Foundation awards luncheon.
Bowman teaches International Baccalaureate (IB) theory of knowledge, IB history of the Americas and Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. history at Westwood High in Mesa Public Schools. He holds an M.A. in secondary education from Northern Arizona University and graduated with honors from Arizona State University with a B.A. in history and political science.
Bowman was a student teacher at Westwood High School, and he’s been on staff ever since. “I loved it so much, I decided to stay,” he shares.
For Bowman, teaching is a true passion.
“The reward is knowing you are appreciated and developing long-lasting relationships with students in order to extend the learning past the classroom,” he says. “I cherish when I continue to hear from students from years past. In my classroom, I enjoy when students look at an issue from a new perspective…. when they have an ‘aha’ moment.”
As Teacher of the Year, Bowman won several prizes, including a $15,000 cash award, a full scholarship toward an advanced degree at Argosy University/Phoenix, professional speech training, more than $6,000 in equipment and training from SMART Technologies, ULC, and a trip to International Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.
This spring he will visit the White House, where he will have the opportunity to meet President Obama and compete for National Teacher of the Year.
Bowman most looks forward to representing Mesa Public Schools as the statewide advocate for teaching at public appearances, as well as events with professional, business, education, civic, parent and student groups.
“My administration has been extremely supportive throughout this process,” Bowman says. “The school district has surrounded me with excellent mentors and tremendous students. To have a chance to be an advocate for education is amazing.”