Dr. David Ford Honored for the Character Trait of "Humility"
Edmond, OK—June 26, 2107.
Former UCO Professor of Sociology, Dr. David Ford was honored as Champion of Character for Humility before the Edmond City Council at the June meeting. Dr. Ford retired in August 2016, ending a 40-year career in higher education. He was also department chair in the Sociology Gerontology and Substance Abuse Studies department for many years at UCO.
In her nomination of her friend and mentor, Kathryn Williams said that he created a fun learning environment, while holding his students to a standard of excellence. His tough expectations earned him the nickname, Dr. Death. Despite his reputation, former students came back to thank him for setting the bar high and empowering them to experience success, said Williams.
Dr. Ford said, “I tried to be fair while still challenging them, particularly in the areas of developing writing and critical thinking skills.”
Students benefited from his willingness to go beyond teaching to give them an advantage by “making introductions for continued education in graduate school,” said Williams.
Dr. Ford said, “I took a portion of Philippians 2:4-8 as my guide when I was department chair and for my life in general. The first part states, ‘Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significantly than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’”
Dr. Ford said, “Circumstances, situations and other people serve as the teachers of humility. A person can choose to learn from all of these.”
Dr. Ford and his wife, Tonya of 40 years moved to Edmond in 1990. The Fords raised two daughters. Laura and her husband James, along with their children, Nori, Jonah and Selah, live in San Antonio, TX. Emily and her husband, Daniel, live in OKC with their twins, Madelyn and Baylor.
Dr. Ford gives credit to several mentors for helping him advance his career. Dr. Larry Walker hired him for his first full-time job in higher education at Oral Roberts University. Dr. Richard Rettig encouraged him to get his doctorate and later to apply for the job that brought his family to Edmond at UCO. Also, Dr. Ralph Fagin helped make a way for him to earn his Masters in Sociology at Oklahoam State University.
Mrs. Ford is a violinist with a BA and MA in Music Education. The last 21 years of her career she spent teaching Orchestra at Edmond Central Middle School. In earlier years, she taught Orchestra in Norman and Tulsa. She also was a part of the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra and the Oklahoma City Community Orchestra. She also played for the Enid and Lawton Symphonies.
Steve Bowlware Honored as Champion of Character for "Enthusiasm"
Longtime Edmond resident and popular Edmond School math teacher, Steve Bowlware, received the distinction of Champion of Character for Enthusiasm at the April Edmond City Council meeting.
"Steve Bowlware was not only the best math teacher I ever supervised as an administrator, he was the most enthusiastic,” said his principal, Dr. Brenda Lyons.
Successful teachers recognize that enthusiasm sparks interest in the classroom and Mr. Bowlware is no different. It was a character quality he saw modeled through his mother, Leaudra, whose classroom career spanned over 50 years with the Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Two of Mark Twain’s quotes inspire and best describe Mr. Bowlware’s philosophy, “Enthusiasm is caught, not taught,” and “The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up.”
His hands-on teaching style incorporates humor, a positive attitude and songs to help create a fertile learning environment.
“When a student asks for help, my favorite teaching strategy is to put my hand on their head and tell them that they are ‘mathematically healed,’” he said. He also challenges his students by reminding them if their day isn’t going well, they have the power to change it.
One of his students from the eighties, Andrea Hauenstein said, “Mr. Bowlware made math fun and easy.” She still recalls a song that reminds her of the formula for finding the circumference of a circle, “Pi times diameter/Pi times diameter/Circumference of a circle.” She considers him one of her favorite teachers. She wasn’t surprised he was honored as Champion of Character for Enthusiasm.
Mr. Bowlware and his wife, Jerri received their teaching degrees at UCO and both have taught in the Edmond Public schools. They raised two children, Janeane and Benjamin in the Edmond community.
On behalf of the City of Edmond and the Character Council of Edmond, Steve Bowlware was honored before the City Council as a Champion of Character for exemplifying the character trait of enthusiasm, “Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
Persons may nominate a candidate by logging on to the website at
http://www.edmondcharacter.org/nominate or by writing
Champions of Character
P.O. Box 392
Edmond, OK 73083-0392