Educator Spotlight: LHS’s Warren Stowe

October 21, 2021

Educator Spotlight: LHS’s Warren Stowe

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, Staff Writer.

Educator Spotlight is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, with offices in Ludington, Pentwater, Shelby, Hart, Hesperia, Manistee, Montague, Whitehall, North Muskegon, and Fruitport. 

LUDINGTON – Warren Stowe is loving life back in Ludington, teaching at his alma mater. The 2000 graduate of Ludington High School has been teaching science for 10 years, eight of those years in the Detroit area and the last two at LHS.

“Prior to teaching in Ludington, I was teaching and coaching at Allen Park High School, he said. “I teach science, mostly biology, but also advance placement environmental science, chemistry, and anatomy. Those courses can have a range of students, but the majority of the kids I teach or in ninth, 10 or 11 grade. I have been in the classroom for 10 years, but have coached in some capacity since graduating high school in 2000.”

Stowe attended Eastern Michigan University where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He earned a teaching certificate in 2012. 

“I am happy that I was able to live near Detroit and enjoy all the great parts of that city and southeast Michigan, but I think I have looked at the lake every day since moving home and am happy to be back.”

Stowe played basketball most of his young life and through high school and he knew wherever he ended up, he wanted to continue sharing his passion for the game by coaching. But it wasn’t until he actually started coaching when he realized that he had a passion for education as well.

“I always loved math and science but didn’t know exactly what options were available to me after high school,” Stowe said. “In 2007, I was living in the area helping coach basketball with Coach Thad Shank and Coach Dan Neil. I quickly realized that like coaching, education was a way that I could give back to young people and spend time teaching and mentoring young people. Science is great, but not for everyone. In class, there is just as much learning about growing up and being a good citizen as there is learning about cells and the nitrogen cycle.”

Spending time in the classroom and on the court, Stowe said his relationships with students and staff have become his favorite part of his job.

“For me, the best part of education is building relationships with the students in the classroom and building,” he said. “Kids are often so busy and have so many things going on in their lives it is nice to be able to spend an hour a day with them sharing info about something I love. I also feel lucky to have worked with so many great educators at both Allen Park and here in Ludington, being with like-minded people makes the job so much more enjoyable.”

In recent years, science has become more prevalent in education with the incorporation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) in the classrooms across the pre-k through 12th grade curriculum. Along with STEM, Stowe and many other educators nationwide have seen more and more female students become more interested and accepted in classes and careers that previously leaned towards males. Stowe said he tries to encourage all students to become more interested in the sciences and it is great to know so many students of both sexes who have gone into a STEM-based career.

“I feel lucky to have worked in districts that invested in resources into science,” he said. “STEM and STEAM programs are great because they emphasize the fluidity of science across curriculums and processes. No matter what you do, whether it be in your free time or as an occupation there’s a need for scientific thinking and problem-solving. That could be creating new medicine, testing which e-mail is most likely to engage customers, or best-utilizing space to plant a garden. STEM and STEAM prepare our students for these types of challenges. I do feel it is important to push more girls to go into the sciences. If you look at science, historically there are a lot of old, caucasian, males doing some amazing things and sometimes I think that students don’t think, understand, or grasp that all are capable of great things if they choose to be. I have a lot of strong female figures in my life, my wife, three older sisters, and mother. I coach girls basketball. I have a daughter. In my position, I feel like I have a big obligation to empower young women to realize that science, basketball, and anything else is for all, and whatever they want to do in life they should go for it.”

Stowe said as a teacher and a coach, he is very busy, but he has really great support from his wife of 11 years and his two children and other family members. 

With the teacher shortage becoming larger, Stowe encourages students to pursue education if it’s something they truly feel strongly about, but he does have some advice for those students, too.

“My advice for students wanting to go into education would be to experience it for themselves,” he said. “Observe a classroom, sign up to be a substitute teacher, get in there, and see what it is all about. I would also stress that teaching is so much more than content delivery. You can’t expect to only teach your content, you also need to make sure you are willing to build and nurture relationships with your students because ultimately that is the best way for learning to take place.”

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