Fort Thomas High School CTE automotive instructor Eddie Bowman is calling it a career after 46 years of teaching, but not without a big send-off from students and staff.
During a school assembly April 27, Bowman, who graduated from Fort Thomas in 1971, was astonished when he learned that the auto shop he taught in for decades would be named in his honor.
“I was floored. I had no idea they were going to do that,” Bowman said. “I feel it’s quite an honor to be remembered in that way and have a building named after me. Normally, you gotta be either dead or a superintendent or something like that.”
Bowman was stunned by the honor but it probably didn’t surprise the Fort Thomas and Bylas communities, who’ve been on the receiving end of countless repaired cars by the teacher over the years, many free of charge.
The proposal to honor Bowman came from those near and dear to Bowman’s heart: his Fort Thomas students.
“He’s been here for many years so the student council thought it would be a unique idea to get the shop named after him for all of his hard work,” Fort Thomas Student Council President Kaylei Preston said.
Once the student council drafted a proposal and the district’s governing board approved, the only thing left to do was keep the surprise under wraps until the assembly.
Having a building named after him isn’t the only honor Bowman is taking with him. He also received the Teacher of Distinction Award from the Safford Rotary Club for the second time in his career.
“If they would have gave me the mic when they awarded that to me, I think that I would have broke down in tears,” he said. “It’s quite an honor to be singled out and to be presented that award,”
Bowman could have received the award every year, according to Fort Thomas Principal Mckay DeSpain.
“Eddie is one of the two teachers I have that I would nominate every year for this award,” he said.
As for the future, Bowman doesn’t see himself working at anything as much as he’s accustomed to, a lifestyle change he has earned after working most of his life.
“I think I’ve had a job since I was 13, working on the farm and stuff, and I don’t think I’ve ever been unemployed from that age to now,” he said. “I’m kind of looking forward to how it’s gonna feel not to come to work and have a little bit of freedom to go travel around. I’ve got a toy hauler so I can go out and go camping and whatever I want to do, and I’m looking forward to that quite a bit.