10 September, 2010 - 06:00
The Morgan County News is spotlighting the new teachers in The Morgan County Schools. This is the first of three weeks of the profiles. We hope you get to know the people that teach your children.
Third Grade Teacher
Cortney Bowler, a native of Orem, is entering her second year of teaching the third grade here in Morgan. She transferred to the Morgan County School District from Payson Elementary in the Nebo School District where she was an intern for her first year of teaching the third grade. She is a graduate of Southern Utah University with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in English as a Second Language.
About coming to Morgan County, Bowler said that she would like to "gain a sense of belonging to this community and be able to meet new people and gain close friendships. I look forward to being a teacher and becoming part of these young children's lives and seeing them as they progress."
When Bowler was a student in high school, she wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic right up until her senior year. During that final year of her secondary education, she started to consider teaching. The more she thought about it, and as the idea settled in, the more she liked and then loved the idea. She has loved her decision to teach ever since.
Bowler believes that she was most influenced to go into teaching as her profession by several of those who taught her over the years. She especially recalls an influential sixth grade teacher who she someday wanted to be like.
However, it was during that final year of high school when Bowler made her decision on which career path to pursue, that one person in particular made an impact that stuck. "I had a very influential teacher who really made us think about how we would make a difference in the world and how we would leave it a better place. It was my senior year and I decided I could make a difference by teaching."
Cortney Bowler is married to Joel Bowler, who is from Enterprise in Southern Utah. They met while they were both studying elementary education at Southern Utah University. Joel has also accepted a job with the Morgan School District and will be teaching the sixth grade at Morgan Middle School.
When they are not teaching, they enjoy the outdoor recreation that Morgan is known for, like spending time in the mountains, hiking, four-wheeling, camping, shooting guns, boating, and “especially riding and training horses.” It sounds like living and working in Morgan should be a good fit for the Bowlers as they continue their careers as educators in Morgan’s School District.
Morgan Middle School
Sixth Grade Teacher
Joel Bowler grew up in Enterprise in Southern Utah. He attended Southern Utah University where he majored in Elementary Education and received a minor degree in English as a Second Language. His father, who was a teacher for many years, was a definite influence on him and his decision to become a teacher.
Bowler put himself through college by working in excavation. The hard physical work motivated him to continue on and complete his education at the university. Of the excavation job he had, he said, “I worked on a farm for many years as well…which I do love…but for me that is an excellent summer job.”
Joel Bowler transferred to the Morgan County School District from the Nebo School District where he did his student teaching. He will now continue his career as an educator at Morgan Middle School. This will be his first year of teaching the sixth grade and social studies.
Joel has been married to Cortney Bowler for two years. They met while they were both pursuing the same degrees at the same university. With their educations under their belts and ready to continue on in their teaching professions, they are now excited to continue on the same path together by living and working in the same town.
Of their opportunity to teach together in the Morgan School District, Bowler said, “As many of you know, this is a pretty tough year if you are a teacher looking for a job. We met the superintendant at a recruiting fair at Brigham Young University and they had two jobs available at the time, and we feel very fortunate to have gotten two jobs. We are glad to be here and we think it is a very beautiful place to live, with great people and great kids.”
Joel Bowler should fit right into the local culture as many of the things he enjoys doing outside of work are popular activities in Morgan. He enjoys hunting, camping, fishing, and being outside. “Right at the top of my list of favorites is baseball. My family is very big into baseball. I coached high school baseball in Enterprise for four years.” He feels good about living and working in Morgan and hopes that he and his wife, Cortney, “can do well here and become part of the community and make a home here.”
Mountain Green Elementary School
First Grade Teacher
Rachael Foster comes to the Morgan School District for her first year as a teacher. She graduated from Weber State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education and will be teaching the First Grade at Mountain Green Elementary School.
Rachael is excited about being new to the community. She was drawn to Morgan by the beautiful scenery and the great things she heard about the district. “As I have met the other teachers and district employees, I can see why they have such a great reputation.”
Before teaching, Foster lived in Roy, Utah where she had lived for the majority of her life. She graduated from Roy High School where she played softball and volleyball. While living there, she also worked for over two and a half years with the youth in the Weber School District at the Boys & Girls Club.
Initially, Foster desired to be a sports broadcaster, but in high school a teacher saw her working with preschoolers and recommended her for a position as a lead teacher in a preschool. “During my experience teaching in the preschool, I realized that I loved teaching and working with children. I changed my mind after I realized how much I enjoy teaching.”
Foster has a unique hobby. She plays in a dodge ball league. “I love playing sports, especially softball. I love snowboarding in the winter and wakeboarding during the summer. I also enjoy traveling and being adventurous. Last summer I went skydiving and became a certified scuba diver.”
She is not yet a “Mrs.” but, she does have a boyfriend who is currently serving a mission in Brazil. She is happy to start a career in the Morgan County School District and has high hopes for her teaching career. “I want my students to continue to love learning after being in my class. I want to make this year exciting and memorable! I hope to become a better teacher every year, and I want to set the bar high this first year.”
Morgan Middle School
History / Spanish
Aaron Preece is Morgan County School District’s new History and Spanish teacher for the seventh and eighth grades at Morgan Middle School. Preece received his Bachelors Degree in Spanish Education and a History Teaching Minor at Weber State University.
After receiving his teaching degrees and certification, Preece went to work for the Wasatch County School District. He taught at Wasatch High School for two years and has now transferred to the Morgan County School District.
Aaron is married to Malarie Preece, and they have a fifteen-month old son named Boston. Malarie is also an educator, and she was teaching the third grade at Morgan Elementary before becoming a mother. She has been at home with Boston since his birth one year and three months ago.
The small family is happy to be making their home here in Morgan now. Aaron Preece is a native of Morgan County and has wanted to be closer to his hometown and family here. He is also glad to be back in Morgan where he went to school while he was growing up.
During his years in Morgan, Preece hopes “to be able to help [students] understand that they live in a great community that supports them…and has always expected students to do well. I also hope that I can help them realize the importance of education and light a fire in them to go and get more education after they leave this district.”
Preece has wanted to “teach here with [Morgan’s] rich tradition in education.” It was after all, in Morgan’s schools where he first discovered that he was interested in pursuing a teaching career.
He reflected, “I had many teachers [when I was younger]… that are still here in Morgan… that influenced me to become a teacher. I love to teach and have the opportunity to, maybe one day; have an influence on kids, like my former teachers influenced me.”
Second Grade Teacher
Debra (Debbie) Rees is returning to teach in the Morgan County School District after teaching for the last three years in the Madison School District in Rexburg, Idaho. Before teaching in Rexburg, Rees had been a teacher in Morgan for 16 years. Over her teaching career, she has spent time teaching in the fourth grade, first grade, and kindergarten.
Debbie spent her years growing up in several different places; Georgia, Florida, Texas, Utah and Idaho. Her own family has lived in Morgan for 32 years, specifically in Round Valley. “I am married to Mark Rees. We have three married children; Jennifer (Brandon), Allison (Anthony), and David (Ashley) and ten grandchildren whom we adore!” Being a teacher in Morgan again will bring her back closer to her family.
Before following a career in teaching, Debbie was a pre-med student at Brigham Young University. She always had a love for working with children though, and found that “education was a better fit for family life.” She also attended Utah State University and has received Bachelor Degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. She also has a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology.
Some of her favorite hobbies are to “hop on the snowmobiles and four wheelers and just go anywhere! I love riding in Island Park! We love to watch any sport our children or grandchildren are participating in!” Rees enjoys all of these things, but as for what she believes is her own unique talent, it is the amount of time she has spent teaching and her passion for teaching “with technology.”
About her future years teaching in Morgan, she said, “It’s not about what I will gain – it’s about what I hope to give. I hope to be able to give to students a love of reading, and a love of life-long learning. I hope to be able to meet the new parents in Mountain Green that I haven’t known before. I love the new school and know I will love it there!”
Look in The Morgan County News next week for part two of three of the new teachers at the Morgan School District.