Beth Bowers, a dedicated and innovative teacher who has dedicated her career to serving students with disabilities, has been named the 2022 Teacher of the Year for schools operated by the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE). Bowers will now be in the running for the Ventura County Teacher of the Year award, which is open to all teachers countywide.
After a career in banking and becoming the mother of a son with Down syndrome, Ms. Bowers joined VCOE in 2012 as a paraeducator, providing classroom support to teachers and students. She was so inspired by the work that she went back to school to earn her bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. She’s been a special education teacher for nearly six years and now works with 6th to 8th grade students who have moderate to severe disabilities at Las Colinas Middle School in Camarillo.
Ms. Bowers found out she was being honored today when her family and friends, her Principal Rob Scheerger, and Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Dr. César Morales made a surprise visit to her classroom. Also on hand to break the good news were VCOE Associate Superintendent of Student Services Dr. Consuelo Hernandez Williams, VCOE Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Lisa Salas Brown, and VCOE Executive Director of Special Education Holly Minear.
“Beth is an incredible teacher who is committed to improving her students’ learning outcomes in every area,” Principal Scheerger said. “Her lessons exhibit creativity and ingenuity. She has specialized skills that help her work well with challenging students. She has cultivated a deep connection and commitment to her school site and the community, which thereby facilitates her students’ ability to thrive.”
One of Ms. Bowers’ many innovative initiatives involves creating interactions between students who have disabilities and those who don’t. Through her Peer Tutoring program, general education students from Las Colinas visit Ms. Bowers’ classroom to work with her students. Students from both groups end up discovering they have more in common than they realized.
“Beth Bowers exemplifies the incredible impact that a teacher can have,” Dr. Morales said. “She builds meaningful relationships with her students, their family members and her coworkers to maximize opportunities for growth and learning. We are truly fortunate to have her as part of the VCOE family.”
Nominations for the countywide Teacher of the Year program are being accepted until May 6. Additional information is available at www.vcoe.org/TeacheroftheYear.
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