Rainbow Elementary School teacher receives national award

MADISON, Ala. - A teacher from Rainbow Elementary in Madison is being recognized in a big way. President Obama named the recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching.

Kim Bowen helps third graders at Rainbow Elementary learn math skills. (Sarah Macaluso/WHNT News 19)

Kim Bowen helps third graders at Rainbow Elementary learn math skills. (Sarah Macaluso/WHNT News 19)

Two teachers are chosen from each state, one math and one science. The math teacher selected from Alabama is Ms. Kim Bowen, a third grade teacher at Rainbow Elementary.

Bowen is a teacher of all trades, but has a special place in her heart for students who struggle with math.

"Growing up, math was always really hard for me and I always wanted to know 'Why, why?' And everyone just said 'Well, just do this, do this' and I would learn procedures, but I never had the foundation understanding," said Bowen.

As an educator for more than 25 years, Ms. Bowen started her career specializing in early childhood education at the University of Alabama.

Kim Bowen

Kim Bowen says she loves the 'Ah-ha' moment when a lesson kicks in and a child makes a connection with a math skill. (Sarah Macaluso/WHNT News 19)

"It was my passion and my goal to be a better math teacher and to make sure that children didn't just do math, but they understood what they were doing," said Bowen.

Through hands-on lessons and research-based activities, Ms. Bowen strives to provide clarity for her students.

"It's that 'Ah-ha!' moment and it just, it just lights up your life to see that light went off for that child and that connection was made and then so many more connections can be made," explained Bowen.

As far as the national recognition, Ms. Bowen says she's honored and humbled.

She adds she would not have achieved this prestigious award without the support from her colleagues at Rainbow Elementary. As a part of the recognition, she plans to make a trip to Washington, D.C. on September 8th to receive her award.