In his six years as Stevenson Elementary School principal, Brian Bowser said perhaps his most rewarding accomplishment is the effort he and Stevenson teachers made to change the culture at the school.
"I'm so proud of the way our teachers celebrate children and the human spirit," he said. "We talk all the time about how to make sure the face on every child at our school lights up when they see us."
Bowser will resign as principal effective July 31 to become the South-Western City School District's executive director of elementary education.
"I'm going to be working with 16 elementary schools in that district, so it's going to be quite a challenge, but I like challenging myself," he said.
It was hard to decide to leave Grandview, but the opportunity at South-Western was one he couldn't pass up, Bowser said.
"I feel privileged to have served in the Grandview district," he said. "The people are so nice and supportive of the schools, and we couldn't have achieved what we did without the support of our parents, who instill a desire to learn in their children.
"This is a special place."
Stevenson teachers display a dedication and caring for their students that is remarkable, Bowser said.
"I am truly humbled to have been able to work with such a wonderful staff," he said.
The goal was to create a "warm and inviting" atmosphere at the school that encouraged students to want to learn, Bowser said.
The positive results were borne out by the school's annual success on the state report card and achievement tests, he said.
"Our test scores indicate our students are performing at a high level," Bowser said.
"I believe so much in early education because K-3 is the time when we can set the foundation for everything a child will achieve through their intermediate, middle school and high school years and beyond," he said.