Tim Bowman, principal of Ponoka Elementary School, is saying goodbye at the end of this school year.
Bowman took over the job back in September 2017, but will be heading out the door for the final time in just over two months.
“I’ve just really enjoyed my time here and have seen a lot of great things happen among the students and staff,” he said.
“I just think there comes a time and a place, and for me that is now as I have some other opportunities that will be coming available soon.”
Bowman added the decision to leave has nothing to with the school or the division.
“I’m really proud of the way we have operated here and the support from the people that I have gotten to work with along with all of the students,” he said.
“From the outset, the staff really grew and embraced each other as a team. We have a top-notch staff and it says a lot when they are able to put the students’ needs above other things.”
One perspective brought forward during Bowman’s tenure, which he is extremely gratified about, is how the school population has grown in its knowledge and recognition of First Nation’s culture — specifically the work done by Wolf Creek Public Schools First Nation, Metis and Inuit student success coordinator Shelagh Hagemann.
“Shelagh has been at the school often and significantly raised the level of knowledge of First Nations culture among the staff and students, but also shown the First Nations students that they are not out on their own,” Bowman stated.
With much of the school staff being rather new to Ponoka when he took over as principal along with the unique layout of the building, Bowman recognized there were a few things that could be done to make improvements and is glad these have worked out.
“The school functions more like a high school, with areas rather than just classroom, and I recognized that we had some strong grade area teams,” he said.
“But, there was a need to create a school culture and spirit, which we were able to do through things like our monthly assemblies and ability to make connections between grades internally such as our buddy programs and celebrating our students with special awards.
“To be able to plant a few new, and ultimately, right ideas before I leave. And there are still ones that are evolving, as the work is never done.”
For Bowman though, the hope he has is that people remember him for his integrity, developing a greater appreciation for First Nations, seeing Ponoka as a leader in that sense plus building bridges between people.
“I’m really proud of the legacy I am leaving behind,” he added.