Superintendents’ spotlight: Joe Tinius, Bowling Green Independent

Joe Tinius
Joe Tinius

The Bowling Green Independent school district upholds strong tradition and high expectations, working toward the ultimate goal of preparing students for their future. In this district, the well-known motto is “Excellence Is Worth The Effort.”

All students, employees and alumni of Bowling Green Independent are part of the “Purple family,” which is based on the Purple Spirit mascot of Bowling Green High School. From years as “Itty Bitty Purples” in preschool through high school and beyond, the unified team effort and family-like culture creates a cohesive, supportive community to work together, celebrate all accomplishments and sustain the tradition of excellence.

The district is guided by four primary goals and expectations: building relationships, engaging students, teaching 21st century skills, and personal and professional growth. Nine years ago, with guidance from many stakeholders, the district moved away from an emphasis on test scores to focus on the true purpose: the individual students. Although data is studied to support teaching and learning, the district puts much more intentional focus on building relationships to address student needs, providing both extra help and resources when needed and affording opportunities for students to excel beyond the classroom.

One professional growth opportunity developed by Bowling Green Independent that is supported by the district’s goals and expectations is called Learning From One Another. The program allows half of all teachers to visit and observe in other schools within the district each year. Elementary teachers spend 1/2 day in an elementary school other than their own, and the other 1/2 in a secondary school. Secondary teachers visit 1/2 day in another secondary school and 1/2 in an elementary school. Schools rotate sending visitors monthly and discuss their experiences at a faculty meeting. Learning From One Another encourages a deeper understanding of the district as a whole, builds relationships, and fosters best practice dialogue among employees.