Timothy Bower makes his involvement with his children’s education and extra-curricular activities a priority. So becoming the newest member of the Pike-Delta-York Board of Education seemed a natural fit.
The 41-year-old Holgate native was sworn into the school board seat at a Feb. 19 meeting. Bower was appointed following an interview Jan. 15, and will fill a seat vacated by Chad Hoffman. The former board member declined to run for re-election in November, and the position was not sought by another candidate.
Bower’s term ends Dec. 31, 2021, at which time he plans to run for a second term.
A graduate of Holgate High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Andrew Jackson University in Birmingham, Ala. He works as superintendent at the Defiance County Board of Developmental Disabilities/Good Samaritan, and has not held a prior public office.
A father of four with his wife, Casey, Bower had considered pursuing a school board seat in the past, and took the current opportunity when it arose.
“I’m always participating in my kids’ activities,” he said. “Their education is a huge thing for me. I thought if I could make a difference in my kids’ and other kids’ education, so be it. The board members all work together as a great team to ensure the vision of the school district is moving forward.”
As a volunteer coach for his children’s soccer, basketball and T-Ball teams, “I want to be involved in my kids’ education,” Bower added.
He said he’s open to the school board’s suggestions and goals, and won’t bring an agenda to his new position. “Everybody has been very open,” he said. “I just want everybody to be transparent about what’s going on, what’s being shared between the community and the schools. I want to continue that. I also want us to be sustainable and financially sound as we go forward.”
Bower considers PDY schools exemplary, saying they offer a well-rounded education to his children. “They’re challenging my kids; it’s not status quo,” he said. “It’s the education they provide to the kids and all the extra-curriculars they provide. There are a lot of things to offer.”
As for the mode of state testing that many Fulton County school superintendents question, Bower agrees.
“The standards are a little too high. I think they’re starting them too young,” he said of students. “I think the districts are doing a great job with these kids, whether the report cards say so or not. When I was going to school, we didn’t have these state mandated tests, and we’ve all done okay.”
In the matter of school district cuts to extra-curricular activities in times of financial hardship, Bower said they can be a regrettable necessity. “If you’re providing the mandated services, I hate to see the extras go. I still think they’re an essential part for the students because they make them well-rounded,” he said.
Michael Ford, PDY board president, said Bower was chosen because the challenges of his job reflect the challenges faced by the school board.
“He deals with levies, budgeting, the public, and educational dollars,” Ford said. “He’s well-equipped for the job and the demands for the job. We thought he was a more natural fit. His professional job gives him a lot of experience in the same areas the board is challenged with.”
Bower said he plans an open-door policy with his position, and with his coaching duties he’ll be ever-present in the community.
“I’m representing the district, therefore I’m representing the community members, too. You’re going to see me a lot,” he said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.