We recently caught up with alumna Danielle Bowen ‘94 P ‘21 ‘23, who is in her 12th year as the Upper School Director of Student Activities. Read on to learn about her memories as a student at Gulliver Prep, advice for alumni who want to reconnect with the school, and more.
Q: Why did you choose to come back and work for your alma mater?
A: Choosing to come back to Gulliver was a no-brainer! It felt as though I was coming home. I have so many fond memories of my time in high school, and I wanted to help create similar memories for current students.
Q: Is there anything you learned during your time as a student that you feel is helpful in your current position?
A: As a student, I learned that the teachers, coaches, and administrators I had a connection with helped mold my high school experience. As a result of that, I try to personally connect with students on a daily basis.
Q: Are there any Gulliver teachers or coaches that you credit as having been a positive influence on you?
A: There are a few. Mrs. K for being the strongest woman I had ever met in a school, and she didn’t apologize for it. That was eye-opening for me. Coach Jan Gomez was the most supportive and extraordinary person I met in those years; she was constantly positive and a role model for me. And Mrs. Crowder for instilling a love of English literature in me. To this day, I don’t know of another teacher who can connect Middle-English Beowulf to the lives of high school students.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a student?
A: The teachers’ skits at Homecoming, hands down. The amount of effort and work they must have put into those astounds me. And they were fantastic, especially the Rocky Horror Picture Show skit they performed in 1993 (I think that’s the right year).
Q: What has been one of your proudest moments thus far as an employee?
A: I feel especially proud when I hear a student say, “This is the best day of school ever!” I know I’ve done something right and created a memory for that student.
Q: What does it mean to have your children attend Gulliver?
A: I am beyond blessed to be able to send my children to a school with teachers who invest their time, energy, and love for learning beyond the classroom! It’s also surreal to see them walking the hallways I walked, playing in the Blue Dungeon as I did, eating in the same cafeteria, etc. I don’t think many people have similar high school experiences as their children, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.
Q: Do you have advice for fellow alumni who would like to reconnect with the school?
A: Call, reach out on social media, or stop by the campus! It’s a wonderful wave of nostalgia, and then awe-inspiring at the same time to see how the school has changed and how brilliant these students are!
Q: What alumni events have you attended and which do you look forward to the most?
A: I try to attend class reunions on my graduation anniversary and around it. I had a number of friends graduate in front of me and behind me. And the Homecoming game, of course! That is an unforgettable experience.
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