From the beginning of his career in education in 1982, Dr. Mowen rose quickly to positions of school leadership. He has 34 years of experience in education, serving 18 years as principal. His academic preparation includes BA and MA degrees from Michigan State University, a Specialist in Arts (Sp.A.) from Eastern Michigan University, and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) from Western Michigan University.
Dr. Mowen believes that schools must be places where students want to be and parents feel comfortable and included. Teacher leadership must be promoted and instructional programs must be energetic, inviting, rigorous, and student centered. Athletics and other extracurricular activities are vital to a well-rounded education and must include a wide variety of options so that there is something for everyone.
Prior to coming to work for the Department of Defense Education Activity, Dr. Mowen taught both choral and instrumental music at Ainsworth High School in Flint, Michigan. He also served as assistant superintendent for instruction and instructional support for the Grand Rapids Public Schools, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he organized and led a team of 20 curriculum specialists in creating Grand Rapids' first standards based curriculum, aligned with state requirements and called "Curriculum 2000". Believing strongly in professional development and continuous improvement, Dr. Mowen and his team held several weeks of teacher training on this curriculum. Student achievement showed impressive growth within 12 months of implementation.
In July of 2001, Dr. Mowen began his work with the DoDEA. Always focused upon eliminating the achievement gap between majority and minority students, Dr. Mowen was drawn to DoDEA by the consistent high academic achievement displayed by all students. He served as principal of Faith Middle School at Fort Benning, Assistant Superintendent of the DDESS Puerto Rico and DoDDS Cuba Schools,Principal of Mudge Primary and Fort Knox High School in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Principal of Zama American High School in Zama, Japan, before coming to Okinawa as Chief of Staff.
Some highlights of Dr. Mowen's career over the years include:
In addition to Dr. Mowen's extensive background in building level school leadership, he is the author of 20 published works on educational topics and has made over 30 professional presentations across the country including sessions at the American Association of School Administrator's National Conference and National Middle School Association Conference.
Dr. Mowen and his wife, Dr. Carol Mowen, reside in Yomitan, Okinawa, Japan and have four grown sons.