Joe Bower posthumously recognized with Alumni Legacy Award at 2016 RDC Community Awards
The 2016 Alumni Legacy Award was presented posthumously to Joe Bower, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Red Deer College in 1998. Joe was passionate about teaching and, within three years of starting his career, he was already leading the charge to change the education system to better meet the needs of all students.
Joe’s influence on education in Red Deer was profound, as his entire philosophy centred around ensuring that the needs of students were being met. He was dedicated to challenging the educational system’s status quo, and became instrumental in changing how his colleagues – and educators from around the world – perceived grades, awards, assessments and student motivation.
When Joe started his blog “for the love of learning,” his messages about education resonated with teachers on a global level, and his blog recorded as many as 85,000 views in a single month. Social media was another incredible platform for Joe to connect and engage with fellow educators, and his Twitter account had 12,000 followers. He was an author, public speaker and tireless advocate for advancing and evolving educational practices, and he was on a first-name basis with leading educational figures from across the globe.
As his influence and reach expanded to an unimaginable level, Joe never forgot about the importance of individuals. He mentored hundreds of people online to help them determine how they could best assist the students in their care. He also remained passionate about teaching his own students, cultivating a respectful and caring atmosphere that encouraged each of his students to grow and develop.
Joe was a social justice and educational warrior who embraced his role in life and touched thousands of lives. Joe Bower passed away from a sudden heart attack on January 3, 2016, to the heartbreak of his family and community. Joe’s legacy as a teacher will have an on-going impact on students, past-students and other educators.
On May 18, Tamara Bower, Joe's wife, accepted the 2016 Alumni Legacy Award on his behalf at the Red Deer College Community Awards.