Keisha Berry Bowman – Class of 1996
Math Teacher, Heritage Middle School

The middle school years are such an important period for young people, both personally and educationally, and middle school teachers play a special role in the development of young minds and hearts. As an eighth-grade math teacher at Heritage Middle School, Keisha Berry Bowman loves helping that age group build an educational foundation as well as develop character and love of learning. She also serves as the sponsor for the Student Government Association and the Beta Club, where she can help students to grow in leadership roles and in academic excellence.

“I love working with some of the best teachers in the county,” says Keisha. “They make coming to work each day enjoyable. They are not only my co-workers, but they are also my friends and my biggest support system. I think the key to student success is to start by building relationships with each of them. By doing so, a teacher can earn their respect, and in turn the students will work hard and show growth.

“One of the factors that influenced my decision to become a teacher was my own personal love for education. My parents always instilled in me the importance and value of getting an education. In fact, I never missed a day of school from kindergarten to graduation day. I had a passion for learning, and I wanted to learn new things and be successful. I always wanted to better myself. My hope is that I can convey this passion to my own students and that they will develop an eagerness to learn and grow as well. I love kids and I love numbers and math. I also wanted a job that would enable me to contribute to my family while also allowing me to spend more time with my own children by having a similar schedule.

“The biggest challenge at the middle school level is student discipline and motivation. As a teacher, I believe that great classroom management must come before any learning can take place, and I make it a priority every day. Building a trusting relationship with the students will make the rest come a little easier.

“I am rewarded when I see my students succeed and grow in mathematics. I enjoy seeing many of them come to love math by the end of the year. I also love to see personal growth in the students. As their teacher, I hope to guide them in more ways than just mathematical standards. I also want to teach them to be good human beings and to help them to make good choices by doing the right thing and growing and learning from their mistakes. If they fail at a math problem or make a poor decision, my hope is that they will embrace it and learn from it and face it differently as they move forward.

“I have taught for 24 years. My first teaching experience was at East Burke Middle school, where I taught sixth grade inclusion for one year. I then moved to Heritage Middle School, and I have taught eighth grade math in the same classroom for 23 years. Keisha graduated cum laude from Appalachian State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Physiology and a minor in Psychology. In 2005, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Mathematics, also from Appalachian State. She holds certifications in Middle Grades Science (2002), Middle Grades Math (2005), and Health and Physical Education (2015).

“Another factor that influenced my decision to become a teacher was the excellent educators who encouraged, respected, supported, and challenged me throughout my student career. I hope that I can model their example and make a difference in my students’ lives as they did in mine. Some of these educators from EBHS include Emma Draughn, Anne Stephens, Allen Lowman, Ramona Barus, and Robert McAdams

“One of my favorite high school activities was cheering, especially during Friday night football games. I also enjoyed running track and being involved in various clubs. The Anchor Club was one of my favorites, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the events leading up to Fat Friday, especially the powder puff football games. I love East Burke High School and will always be a Cavalier.

“As I continue to grow in my career as an educator, I hope to achieve National Board Certification in the near future. It is something that I plan to work toward in the next few years.”

As Keisha continues to lead students to excel both in academics and in personal achievements, she demonstrates the best qualities of an outstanding educator, inspiring both her own children and her students and contributing in countless ways to her community and to the world.

Published April 2024

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