Some social studies teachers focus largely on names, places and dates and call it history. Lillian Ray Bowman emphasized context by relating stories that made the people who made history come alive.
A native of Grayville, Illinois, as a youth, Miss Bowman moved to Ohio and graduated from Ashland High School in 1943. She then earned a bachelor’s degree from Ashland College and a masters in history from Northwestern University. Then for 35 years 1947-1982 at SHS she taught geography and world and American history. Says an alumnus, Her world history course gave me a view of the rest of the world and its cultures and instilled in me a life-long love for history which became both my college major and vocation.
Miss Bowmans involvement at SHS extended well beyond the classroom. In 1954 she founded Whippet Tales, the monthly student newspaper that schooled many youngsters in journalism. She also advised cheerleader squads and the Pep Club.
Observes another alum, Her ready smile was a warm fixture throughout the school, and her teaching fueled a lifelong fondness for history and visits to historically important places around the country and the world. Miss Bowman died at 78 on April 24, 2003.