Dublin-Worthington News Stories

Member Spotlight: Dr Trent Bowers

Friday, May 21, 2021 By: Paul J. Cynkar
Advancing the Leadership Mindset
Finding Success in the Success of Others

This is another in a series of member profiles based on discovery interview questions that were designed to get an up- close view of the traits and strengths of some of the members who provide leadership to this organization.

Membership Spotlight:  Dr. Trent Bowers
Dedicated, Disciplined and Genuine

Tell us about yourself.  Give us three facts that include information about your family, your career and your pastimes.
Basically I am an introvert and self-promotion is not one of my strengths. I don’t take myself too seriously.  Being superintendent is a role.  I try to look in the mirror every morning and say, “just be you!”  I grew up in Worthington.  I’ve been married to Doreen for twenty-six years. (We met on our first day at Taylor University in Upland Indiana.) We have three daughters and our oldest will be going to Taylor Univ. next year. I’m an educator by trade having spent time as a teacher, coach, dean of students, assistant principal and principal, assistant superintendent and now superintendent.  I like sports but on evenings when I don’t have meetings or events, I settle in with a good book.
How long have you belonged to Rotary?  What’s the best thing about membership?
I joined Rotary six years ago when I became superintendent of Worthington Schools.  I appreciate the relationships that are established and the opportunity to connect with others.
As you look back on your life and your career, where and when did you have the biggest impact on others?  Who was impacted and how?

I hope that story is still to be told.  I felt I made an impact in Marysville as a principal responsible for opening new schools.  Wherever I go I am committed to enhancing a positive culture.  It’s always a priority for me. 
As you look back, which of the opportunities you’ve had has been the most fulfilling to you personally?  Why?
Ultimately I enjoy bringing people together in a positive way.  I enjoy diversity of thought and opinion.  I feel super lucky to work with the people I work with.  They know what they are doing and make a continued effort to get better.  Our role is constantly evolving.  We have to navigate change and ensure the community is part of the decision-making process.
Describe the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on.  What was your role?  What was the result?  What did you learn?

Tackling the master facilities plan was definitely a challenge.  The need was real.  It required three phases; organizing a community task force, eliciting community feedback and addressing financial/tax issues.  (We had to continually consider the taxing capacity of the community.)  Today I am extremely proud of the community collaboration and our progress.  We have redesigned our middle schools and are looking ahead to addressing the needs of our high schools.   That said, the impact of COVID on our students, our staff and our schools has ranked way up there on the list of professional and personal challenges.  This has been the hardest year I’ve ever faced.  I’ve learned that when you try to make one person happy you tend to make another person angry.  My idea of leadership is do what is right and make decisions that benefit the most people.

What are some things you are passionate about?  What really excites you? What gets your adrenalin flowing?  What makes your heart sing?
Definitely creating a culture that emphasizes “being kind to kids!” We need to put kids first.  Schools should create positive memories regarding academic skills, social emotional well-being and relationship skills.  Schools are a community organization so we want residents to feel ownership and pride.  Our staff needs to engage in this too.  I expect their efforts to be more than just checking the box.
What are you especially skilled at?  What is something that others often tell you that they think makes you stand out?
Setting the vision and communicating the vision.  I’m not good at small talk but I really enjoy talking and writing about Worthington Schools. 
When you have a moment to sit back and think (dream) about your future, what do you think about?  What things would you like to do in your life that you haven’t gotten around to yet?  Is there something else you would like to accomplish?
Professionally I am where I want to be.  I have no different professional aspirations.  Personally I want to focus on my own kids as they navigate through school.  When I turn fifty Doreen and I would like to walk the Camino de Santiago, a network of pilgrim trails in northwestern Spain.  It’s popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts.  Many consider it a spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.
If you could choose anyone (alive or deceased) to have lunch with, who would it be? Why?
I’d want to have lunch with my grandfather, Ken Harrison.  He was a brilliant man who owned a Dale Carnegie franchise in Cleveland.  He was very successful.  I would want pick his brain to hear his thoughts about leadership and success.

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