Bowen earns Presidential Award for Excellence
MADISON – For her dedication in classroom strategies, Kim Bowen has been honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Bowen teaches third-graders at Rainbow Elementary School.
Bowen is one of only two Alabama teachers and 213 across the nation to receive the Presidential Award. These teachers represent all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and Department of Defense Education Activity Schools.
“I am honored to have been selected as a Presidential Mathematics recipient. As I received my award in Washington D.C., I was overwhelmed with excitement, yet humbled,” Bowen said.
“I also felt my methodology and pedagogy on how young children acquire a deep understanding of mathematical concepts were verified,” she said. “Throughout my teaching career, I have focused on educating myself, as well as others, on best practice to engage our youngest learners in understanding mathematics rather than providing quick right answers.”
‘Quick right answers’ portray an “illusion of learning rather than solid foundational understandings. These ‘illusions of learning’ lead educators to believe children know and understand more than they really do,” Bowen said. “Being honored (with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching) acknowledged the work that I have done for over 30 years with other educators and students in the area of mathematics.”
Following an initial selection process at the state level, a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators selected the Presidential Award winners. Winners also received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and are invited to Washington D.C. for the awards ceremony, as well as educational and celebratory events.
The other Alabama teacher to win is Julie Neidhardt from Dawes Intermediate School in Mobile.
Previously, Bowen taught at Brookwood Elementary School in Tuscaloosa County, Huntsville’s Challenger and Williams elementary schools and Madison’s Heritage and Columbia elementary schools.
Bowen earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education at the University of Alabama. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Her husband Don works as an aerospace engineer. Their son Will is a 2014 UA graduate in aerospace engineering. Son Matt is studying computer science at UA.