Midlo Administrators Strive for Excellence

Principal Shawn Abel, Assistant Principal Denise Bowes, and Assistant Principal Robert Gifford Earn Doctorate Degrees from VCU

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On May 11, 2019, three Midlothian High School administrators, Principal Shawn Abel, Assistant Principal Denise Bowes, and Assistant Principal Robert Gifford received a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. After three long years, with no summers off, the administrators earned their doctorate degrees. Midlo Scoop caught up with these three accomplished educators and asked them to reflect on their experience.

Dr. Shawn Abel:

What was the most memorable part of the experience?

Memorable – applying so much of my studies to my work here at Midlo.  The practicality of the program was incredible.  Also, growing as a writer.  I’m no Mrs. Tully, but I have certainly improved.  🙂

How do you feel about accomplishing this milestone in your career?

I feel a combination of pride, excitement, and even a sense of relief.

Dr. Denise Bowes:

What was the most memorable part of the experience?

My most memorable part of the experience was seeing how excited and pleased my client was when my team and I presented the results and recommendations from the study to them.  Seeing their excitement let me know that I had done a good job, and I accomplished something that I never really saw myself doing.  It was huge.

How do you feel about accomplishing this milestone in your career?

Looking back at this past year, I don’t know how I did it.  It was very stressful, but I never thought about quitting.  I knew I had to keep pushing through the late nights and deadlines and that soon it would be over.  It is a strange feeling being called Dr. Bowes, but a feeling that I know I will get used to.  I am looking forward to having time to relax and read a good book, of my choosing, and just enjoying life, whatever that may be.

Dr. Robert Gifford:

What was the most memorable part of the experience?

Taking this incredible journey with colleagues in a cohort, especially two colleagues I work very closely with and have much respect for: Dr. Abel and Dr. Bowes.

How do you feel about accomplishing this milestone in your career?

My mother, who passed right before I came to Midlo, always taught my sisters and I the importance of education. As the first college grad in my family, and now the first with a doctorate, something I have always considered pursuing, I am pleased to honor my mother’s memory with this achievement.

Congratulations, Dr. Abel, Dr. Bowes, and Dr. Gifford! Midlo is so proud of your accomplishments!