Teacher wants to help student find interests them

Published 2:36 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

If a teacher has a mathematic formula tattooed on his forearm, he just might like his subject.

Such is the case with Straughn High School’s  Stephen Bowen, who said he only recently got the tattoo of Euler’s formula, named in honor of Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707–1783). According to Wikipedia, the formula establishes the fundamental relationship between the trigonometric functions and the complex exponential function.

Bowen, who is a Red Level graduate, said he has always wanted to teach. When he left to pursue a degree at the University of Alabama, he never thought he’d come home to Covington County.

“I don’t think I would have been content to live here if I hadn’t been away,” he said. “You have to leave to really appreciate what you have.”

Now, he focuses on giving his students all of the opportunities he can, and not necessarily just in higher math classes like AP calculus. For instance, he started the school’s cross country and track teams, and formed a chess club.

“I try to bring as many opportunities as I can to my students,” he said.

He currently is pursuing a master’s in applied science at West Florida University.

“I want to teach better and have an impact on kids’ lives,” he said, adding that he eventually would like to teach at the college level, but not until he’s taught his own children in high school.

The son of Tirey and Susan Bowen said he grew up using applied mathematics.

“My dad’s a welder,” he said. “When I worked with him in his shop, we were measuring and using geometry. He doesn’t have a formal degree, but he knows how to use the concepts.”

It’s just one example he uses with students of how math is used in the real world.

“My parents pushed me without being overbearing,” he said. “They expected a lot, and they were thrilled when I went to Alabama. They’ve supported me in more ways than I can count, and are amazing and great role models.”

He’s trying to do the same thing for his children, Miley, Bradley and Kiley, who are in first, second and third grades at Straughn Elementary.