The two passions in the life of Quenton Bowler are education and hunting, and one enhances the other, Bowler says. He feels he is a man living his dream.
At Southern Utah University in Cedar City, first as a professor, then as chairman of the department of education and now as dean of the College of Education, he has nurtured and guided class after class of men and women to successful careers in the teaching profession."Superintendents love to get teachers from SUU," Bowler said, "for they go into the field with more than 300 hours of field work. When these teachers walk into their own classroom for the first time, they know what to expect and how to go about teaching immediately."
This has been his philosophy, and subsequently the Teachers Education Program at SUU has reflected this. Bowler also believes that those planning on becoming teachers should genuinely like people.
"If you treat people with respect, small people or grown people, you'll be a success, not only as a teacher but as a human being" he said.
1995 marks Bowler's 30th year in the field of education. He began his teaching career in 1965 as a teacher at North Elementary in Cedar City. From there he went to Parowan High School, where he served as both teacher and principal for two years before moving to Beryl, Iron County.
This tiny hamlet on the edge of the Escalante desert is a unique place. Here raising potatoes and alfalfa are the primary ways of life.
Bowler spent three years there teaching along with filling the role of school principal and facing an entirely different set of classroom circumstances from his other teaching positions. In Beryl he was dealing with the children of migrant farm workers, some of whom did not speak English very well; he also taught the children of area residents. After Beryl he returned to North Elementary for a year as principal before moving back to Parowan High School and then on to Southern Utah State College, now SUU.
In addition to his work at SUU, for the past 12 years Bowler has served on the Commission on Schools of the Northwest Accreditation Association.
This group of educators travels to 1,300 high schools in seven states - Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Alaska - and sets minimum standards for graduating students to be accepted in colleges, the military and other higher schools of learning.
By law, all high schools are to be accredited every 10 years with a follow-up visit every three to five years to monitor progress, Bowler said. He has served on the Accreditation Board of Trustees for the past six years. All this work is voluntary. The educators' expenses are paid but not their time.
Bowler is chairman of numerous evaluation committees in all seven states. For the past 13 years, he has also served on the Utah Accreditation Committee.
The success of this dedicated educator and much admired proponent of teaching as a profession has not been easy.
At 21, married and the father of two sons, Bowler contracted polio, which left him unable to walk. Determined to overcome this handicap, Bowler underwent intensive physical therapy and willed himself to walk and become an active man. Physical activity was imperative, and he turned to his lifelong love of hunting and fishing to build his muscle tone and provide the exercise he needed.
In 1986, Bowler graduated from deer hunting in Utah and fishing in Idaho and went to the Northwest Territories in Canada to stalk caribou. He has gone back almost every year since and now has trophy heads of two Dall sheep, two moose, and three caribou. In 1994 he flew to New Zealand to hunt thar, (a mountain goat brought from the Himalayan Mountains to New Zealand more than 100 years ago). He successfully bagged one, and a taxidermist in New Zealand mounted the entire goat, a beautiful animal with a long silky brown-black coat. Bowler had it shipped to his home in Summit, Iron County.
There it holds a place of honor in his trophy room. Bowler also brought back two charmoix (an antelope imported to New Zealand from the European Alps), a red stag (imported from Scotland), one feral goat (which was turned loose by early settlers of New Zealand and became wild), and one Arapawa ram (found only on the Arapawa Island of New Zealand. It was left there by Captain Cook as a food source for shipwrecked or abandoned sailors and has multiplied).
There are no native trophy animals in New Zealand, Bowler said. All trophy wildlife was imported from another country or continent. In the Bowler trophy room mounted heads of local deer, pheasants, ducks, a bobcat head and pelt from Cedar Mountain and a badger from Enterprise can also be found. In May, he and his wife plan to go to Alberta, Canada, for fishing and hunting black bear. In August he will be in Texas hunting imported deer and antelope.
Bowler belongs to Safari International and was recently featured in one of its ads. In contrast he is a member of the Utah Honorary Colonels Corps (National Guard), a service organization dedicated to assisting in providing better education to Utah students.
Along with the two passions in his life, Bowler still finds time for devotion to his family. His wife, Sandra, accompanies him on his hunting trips, and he is frequently accompanied by his sons.
This dedicated teacher and avid hunter and fisherman lives a full and interesting life. Bowler says he plans on traveling (and more hunting) when he retires. Travel broadens your horizons, he said, and he has many more horizons he wants to see.