The Tribune Staff Reports
Carl Bowman recently retired after 44 years of being a math teacher at Crothersville High School.
Former students and colleagues were asked to share the impact he made on their lives.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Carl Bowman in many facets. He was my eighth-grade basketball coach. I was in his geometry, Algebra 2 and senior math class, and he tutored me in college-level calculus in the 1979-80 school year. For several years, we were fellow teachers at Crothersville Junior-Senior High School, and then in the fall of 2006, I became Carl’s principal. In spite of all of that, the best way I can describe Carl is that he is a true friend. As students, Carl rewarded us when we succeeded and challenged us when we were unsure. He portrayed a true sense of appreciation and concern for students that some never understood. He wants more for his students than to just spit back answers, but to be able to analyze and synthesize problematic situations and determine true, workable results, not only in academic coursework but in the realm of life. I was a better teacher and administrator because of the lifelong lessons I learned in Carl’s classes. As his “boss” some 25 or more years later, Carl’s dedication to the profession, but more importantly to the children of Crothersville Community Schools, was just as strong, tough and resilient as the first day he entered the classroom. My prayer for Carl is that he greatly enjoys this well-deserved retirement, and I want to say, “Thank you, Carl Bowman.”
Anyone who ever played a sport also had a favorite coach. For me, it was Carl Bowman. I first met Carl in the summer of 1981 between my seventh- and eighth-grade year. I was talked into trying out for the junior high cross country team. My first practice, I thought I was going to die from running. I was going to quit after a few practices, but Carl kept encouraging me to hang in there. Anyone who knows Carl knows he won’t beg anyone to stay on a team, but Carl saw something in me that I didn’t see, and I hung in there. Within a few weeks of running, I became the best runner on our team. I actually took to running very well, and as the summer went along, so did my attitude about practice and the lack of it I wanted to do. Carl pulled me aside one summer morning as the other kids went to run, and he began to rip my butt about my attitude and setting a good example of being the top guy on our team and learn to be a good teammate. Carl quickly got my respect. I changed my attitude, and our team went on to be the first Crothersville junior high team to win the Jackson County and Southern Athletic Conference meets in the history of our school. All of that carried over to high school, where we became the school’s first cross country team to win two conference championships and the school’s first regional qualifiers. I also ran track for Carl and played junior high and high school basketball for him. I’ve known him for almost my entire life. Even though I don’t see him as often as I used to, he is my favorite coach of all time, and he is also my friend.
Mr. Bowman was tough but helped me overcome my fear and ask questions as well as come to love algebra. Thanks to his diligence, I can help my grandkids and nephew learn, as well. I am grateful for coach Bowman because he taught us more than just math but steps to help us through life. The Class of 1986 had the honor — or maybe blessing for us — to have him and Rodney Carter as our class sponsors. I’m sure there were times his patience was definitely tried.
Man, was he one tough cookie, but I sure know how to do math after having his class. I had him for pre-calculus, calculus and trigonometry. He set high expectations and expected you to achieve them with his help, of course. I am sure many remember him for coaching and have great stories to tell in that area, as well.
Bowman was a favorite for me. He loved to give students a hard time with his sarcastic humor, which is why I understood him, but he really wanted you to get math. Even if he was yelling at you with his face turning red, he just wanted you to get it. Both of my kids had him, as well, and he got them through their worst subject. Congrats, Mr. Bowman.
I have learned so much from Mr. Carl Bowman, not only as a student but as a colleague and friend. He was my teacher in high school (Class of ‘99) for pre-cal, calculus and trigonometry. His sarcastic sense of humor made him one of my favorite teachers. Fast forward a few years, and I now know Mr. Bowman as a colleague and friend. While he can be intimidating, he wants nothing but the best for his students. He holds them all to high expectations and gives them the knowledge to reach those expectations. I consider Mr. Bowman to be a lifelong friend, even though we don’t work together anymore, and one of the finest men I have had the pleasure to know.
Carl Bowman was always one of my favorite teachers. I had the privilege of having him for geometry, pre-calculus and calculus. The best thing about being in Bowman’s class was it was challenging and every success felt like a major victory. He made sure you knew the process. He wasn’t interested in you memorizing information. He wanted you to think for yourself and make decisions. I owe quite a bit of academic success to Carl Bowman, and my appreciation for him cannot be overstated.
My favorite memory of Mr. Bowman’s class (I had him for geometry, pre-calculus and calculus) is one day in class, we just did not understand what he was trying to teach, and he calmly got up from his desk, walked to the door, opened it and walked out into the hallway and yelled “Somebody help me” and then came back in and started teaching again. He always challenged you to think for yourself, and he was so tough but at the same time so much fun.