JCSD 509J is spotlighting Darla Bowden, who is a Life Skills Educational Assistant at Warm Springs K-8 Academy, for the work she does every day in her role. She started working for the district in 1999 as a substitute. She has worked for our district for 25 years now.

“When I first started working for the district I was applying for a life skills job. I’ve always had a place in my heart for kids that needed just a little bit of extra help,” Bowden said. “One of the interview people was asking me, why do you want to work in life skills and this was my exact answer. I said if I had a child that needed that extra help, I would hope there would be somebody that would care for that child like he or she was their own.”

She has worked at WSK8 for the past six years now and is loving it. Her roles requires her to be flexible because things can change not only day by day but minute by minute.

“I help a student with one on one. He needs help. He’s working on fine motor skills, verbal skills. I do small groups with reading, math and writing. I go with the kids to their specials. So, I just try to encourage them to be involved. I help them if they kind of feel overwhelmed or if they’re having, you know a struggle,” she said.

Below is her nomination,

“Darla goes above and beyond for our students to help them learn and grow. She is always kind and caring even when she is correcting students. Darla is always the one in our classroom to make sure other staff has taken their breaks or to check in if they have worked to de-escalate a student to see what she can do to help the staff/student at that time. Darla will even go out of her way to bring small gifts, like a soda, to other staff when she notices they are having a hard day. Darla is a wonderful team member who exemplifies all of our Districts themes and is always willing to lend a helping hand when needed. The Warm Springs K-8 team is a better place because Darla is here and my life skills classroom is so beyond lucky and thankful to have her.”

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