Educator Profile    Educators

Carly Bowden (KS '19)


Monticello Trails Middle School
Shawnee, KS

Subject(s) taught: Pathways
Grade(s): 7

At the time of the Award, Carly Bowden was:

Andover Central Middle School
Andover, KS

Subject(s) taught: Mathematics
Grade(s): 7

Biographical Information

Carly Bowden brings her mathematics curriculum to life for students of all abilities. A seventh grade math teacher at Andover Central Middle School, Bowden creates innovative, engaging projects that reflect the way math is used in the real world. She takes students to a local grocery store to buy items based on a set budget, then sets up her room as a grocery store full of discount and sale offers to help students learn about percentages. Bowden turned her space into an “escape room,” the team problem-solving activity popular with teens, where pupils solve equations to move ahead in the game. She has transformed her classroom into the International Space Station and donned a Bob Ross costume to lead a painting session during the school’s Exploration Days. In Bowden’s classroom, learning is both fun and successful. On STAR screeners, 87% of her students score proficient or above, with most making more than a year’s growth while in her class.

Known as a masterful relationship-builder, Bowden develops confidence in all students and leads them to reach their full potential, especially those who struggle with math. Students feel successful, valued and important to the classroom’s success. Using flexible seating and manipulatives, Bowen adapts all lessons to meet the specific needs of each learner while creating a collaborative family-like atmosphere. Students who need additional support can count on her attention and know she will do whatever it takes to help them succeed.

Bowden uses her social media accounts to tell the story of her classroom to parents and the local community and connect with teachers around the country, often inviting other educators into her classroom via Skype. In addition to her work in the classroom, she is the assistant coach for the school’s cross country and track teams. Always looking to improve her pedagogy, Bowden has attended professional development with Disney and the San Diego Teacher Field Trip. Bowden mentors new teachers, has been an early implementer of project-based learning, and presents at district-level professional learning programs and educational technology conferences.

Bowden earned a bachelor’s degree in middle school math education at Emporia State University in 2015.

Press release: Math Students' Success Adds Up to a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Carly Bowden

Related Connections

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Article: Spotlight: Carly Bowden (KS '19)

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Carly Bowden In The News

Award-Winning Math Educator Carly Bowden to Teach at Oregon Trail Middle This Year
Olathe Reporter  |  Aug 11, 2021  |  Manhattan, KS

CapFed Best News: Shawnee Heights Graduate Wins ‘Oscars of Teaching’
The Topeka Capital-Journal  |  Jan 14, 2020  |  Topeka, KS

ESU Alum Wins $25K Milken Educator Award
The Emporia Gazette  |  Jan 11, 2020  |  Emporia, KS

WATCH --> Local Middle School Teacher Wins Prestigious "Oscars of Teaching" Award, $25K Prize
The Wichita Eagle  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  Wichita, KS

WATCH --> Andover USD 385 Educator Receives 2019-2020 Milken Educator Award
KSNW-TV  |  NBC  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  Wichita, KS

Andover teacher recognized with Milken
The Butler County Times-Gazette  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  El Dorado, KS

WATCH --> Andover Teacher Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
KWCH-TV  |  CBS  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  Wichita, KS