The impact a teacher makes on a student’s life often isn’t seen until years after the two part ways, but if Debbie Bowyer, site director at the Champions program at Mildred Aitken Elementary School in Seekonk, Mass., ever needs a reminder about the effect she has on the lives of her students, she needn’t look too far. Many of her former students come back to visit her. One even works in her program.
“You know you did your job correctly when [former students] come back to visit you,” she said.
It’s that passion for excellence and the ability to form such lasting relationships with her school-age students and their families that earned Bowyer the Champions Quality Achievement Award.
When Jimmy Mott, Bowyer’s area manager, joined Champions the education space felt very new after his experience in a retail environment. He fell in love with Bowyer’s program and said that once he visited her site he knew he’d made the right career choice.
“Debbie eats, breathes, and sleeps our service values,” he said. “She is attuned to what children need. She allows all children to submerse themselves in her program. She creates an environment where children help each other. She’s the ideal site director, employee, and friend.”
ONE: What do you love most about your job?
DB: “I love the chance to make a long-term impression on children’s lives through creativity, our curriculum, and having fun connecting with kids and their families. In the 10 years I’ve been at this school my kids come back to visit me. Some are now in high school. Megan, one former student – she’s now a junior in high school – works in my program. I touched her life so much she wants to give back.”
ONE: What service value resonates most with you and why?
DB: “It’s hard to pick one. This job is all about customer service and impacting children’s lives and creating fond memories. The biggest compliment is when children don’t want to go home because their having such a fun, educational experience.”
ONE: What advice would you give to your colleagues?
DB: “Create routine and structure: kids thrive on it. If you have a routine they’ll feel safe and comfortable. Listen to the kids – they’re your biggest client. You always have to make time for the kids. Never let yourself get overwhelmed. Take time each day to enjoy your job. Have fun!”