Being raised by teachers, Jeff Bowers, a small town country boy, didn’t want to be like his parents.
“I never wanted to be a teacher,” Bowers says.
Born and raised in Boone, North Carolina, Jeff Bowers had a childhood full of sports, building forts, and spending many hours playing outside. Bowers’ parents were both school teachers and he was brought up in a household full of high expectations.
Bowers never wanted to be involved in the education field because his parents were teachers. Bowers had huge aspirations to be a lawyer from high school until he went to Appalachian State for his graduate degree in Spanish. Everything changed for Bowers when he had his first experience as a graduate assistant in his second year of the Spanish program. Bowers knew that being a Spanish teacher is what he wanted to pursue in life.
“The ultimate desire was to connect with people different than me and to be able to share part of a culture that I really admired,” he says.
Bowers was introduced to Spanish at a young age. His mother taught many hispanic children and began to learn the language to better teach her students. She always encouraged her son to learn the language. He really dived into Spanish when he met his friend Jugo at 15- years- old. Bowers constantly asked his friend questions about Mexico, traveling, and he really liked Mexican food. Jugo would invite Jeff over to his house to have dinner with his mother. Jeff quickly learned that he could not communicate with Jugo’s mother and this inspired him to break the barrier.
Bowers began to practice and became more fluent after he moved to Colorado. He was a fishing guide in the icy rivers and many of his clients spoke Spanish. Bowers spoke Spanish nearly every single time he had a client. Missing his friends and family drove Jeff back to the east where he began studying spanish at Appalachian state.
“It’s very satisfying to see something grow that you’ve started from a seed,” Bowers says. “One day I would love to be a farmer.”
Though Bowers was talking about his passion for gardening, he enjoys watching the growth of his students during their time at Piedmont. He isn’t just someone who teaches with passion, but he is also a huge supporter for his students. Before the pandemic, Bowers would be at any sporting event or performances he could. He loves being a part of the student life and being able to watch his students grow into the people they are meant to be. He loves his students, colleagues and being a part of a great community. Bowers has loved his experience in the short three years he has been at Piedmont College. He plans to stay in Demorest for a very long time.
“Right now this is the best place,” Bowers says.