Hailey's Heroes: Teacher/Mentor Gwen Bowles

May 7, 2009

Many children with special learning needs in Albemarle County go to Ivy Creek School. Teachers working with those children regularly lean on each other for guidance. One retired teacher is proving an invaluable asset to teachers as a mentor.

When it comes to teaching, Gwen Bowles has been there and done that. Five years into retirement, she's still mentoring at the school where she spent 30 years teaching children with behavioral disabilities.

Teaching children with emotional and behavioral disabilities can bring its own set of challenges and rewards.

"I learned so much under her," says Niki Anderson, the Ivy Creek Program Specialist. "She's like the queen of teachers here."

Gwen Bowles is a former teacher at Ivy Creek School in Albemarle County. Her work didn't stop with retirement.

"They are very gracious about letting me come back in, and I pop back in frequently and bring cookies, get hugs, and check on some of the kids that i had," said Gwen Bowles.

When Bowles isn't roaming the hallways, dishing out guidance to teachers, she's out of the country doing missionary work with children in need and using the skills she learned there.

"Everyone says you need patience, but you really need a sense of humor. You need to think about what's really important, and what you can let go," says Bowles.

This "hero" isn't ready to hang up her lesson plans, or stop roaming her old hallway.

"We used to have a sign in our classroom that said this place is a place of love, learning, and laughter, and that kind of summed up what our classroom was all about," says Bowles.

For years to come, she'll share her experiences with the teachers, and her love with the kids.

If you know a local hero, CBS19 wants to here from you. Send Hailey Frances your hero nominee at hailey.frances@wcav.tv. You could see them featured on this segment.

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