EDISON, NJ — Dr. Bob Bowman is joining The Wardlaw-Hartridge School community as the school’s new Assistant Head for Upper School.
The Scotch Plains resident brings extensive administrative and teaching experience to his new position at Wardlaw-Hartridge. Bowman joins Maggie Granados, the Assistant Head for Lower and Middle School, as the school’s chief academic leaders.
“I could not be more excited about joining the Wardlaw-Hartridge community and family,” Bowman said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be part of a wonderful school, to work with Andy [Webster, Head of School], Maggie and the great faculty and staff, and to be part of supporting the exceptional student body.”
Bowman has served as Upper School Head at Brooklyn Friends School in New York since 2012. Prior to that, he worked as Academic Dean at Ranney School for two years after spending the previous eight years as a teacher and science department head at Collegiate School of New York. He also has taught chemistry at Colgate University and the University of Kansas.
Dr. Bowman views most of his life as an educational journey and has an interesting philosophy that applies to students, teachers and administrators alike.
“From the age of 5, my life has been spent in the classroom, be it a space with four walls, a sports field, a laboratory, or a crowded hallway. Meaningful exchange of ideas between individuals — regardless of their roles in the interaction — is based on mutual trust and respect, shared passion, and most importantly, a personal connection," he said. "These three elements are the foundation upon which I have based all my relationships as a student, a teacher, a colleague, a mentor and an administrator; they are the tenets of my educational philosophy.”
Bowman earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University. As a “science guy,” he is looking forward to joining a school with an increasing emphasis on STEM education.
“On the long list of reasons I’m excited to be here, the commitment to STEM certainly stands near the top and I hope to bring relevant parts of my background to help grow and strengthen the program,” he said. “I will need to see firsthand the great work that is already underway and then determine where I might be able to collaborate with teachers to add value. That might be bringing in interesting speakers, establishing internal or external research opportunities for students, or just sharing my excitement for science and engineering.”
Bowman believes the STEM approach is so important for all students, even those not planning on a career in science.
“Having a good, basic knowledge of how the world around us works is increasingly important. My hope is that all students become engaged and leave here being well-informed, scientifically literate citizens,” Dr. Bowman said.
Bowman believes in collaboration, communication and getting to know his teachers and students. He has been spending much of the summer meeting people at Wardlaw-Hartridge.
“My door will always be open, and I look forward to meeting and working with all constituencies; collaboration is absolutely vital,” Bowman said. “My approach to any situation is always going to be to determine what is best for the student(s). That will be the starting point of all conversations!”
The Wardlaw-Hartridge School is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school located in Edison, New Jersey, serving students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
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