NEW BUFFALO — Although there were 49 applicants, the New Buffalo Area Schools Board of Education didn’t have to look far to select Adam Bowen as its new Elementary School principal on Monday, May 8. 

Beginning July 1, he will fill the vacancy created by last month’s appointment of David Kelly to the new position of curriculum coordinator.

A 2000 graduate of New Buffalo High School, Bowen has been with the school district since 2006, having earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 2004 and his master’s in educational leadership in 2011, both from Western Michigan University.  He is currently the Title I coordinator at New Buffalo Elementary, a position he has held since 2015. Prior to that, he taught fifth grade from 2010 and third grade from 2006.

Bowen is a member of the school’s Curriculum Advisory Committee, chaired the School Improvement Committee in 2013-14, is a past member of the school’s MiBLSi and served an administration internship as principal intern at New Buffalo Elementary in 2011. He is currently middle school football coach and was varsity defensive coach in 2009.

“When you have a quality person in house it is best to hire from inside,” said board member Pano Arvanitis, who along with President Chuck Heit and board member Lisa Werner represented the school board during interviews of the final eight candidates.  The selection committee also included parents, teachers, students (high school students with siblings in elementary school) and staff members.

“He was pretty much the mandated choice of the groups that interviewed and he really resonated with the parents. In addition to his knowledge of the programs and curriculum already in place, he has a caring nature and really goes above and beyond to help each kid,” said Superintendent Jeff Leslie.

Bowen is married to the former Nicole Howard, also an NBAS graduate, who is currently on maternity leave from the district where she teaches health and physical education in Middle/High School. In addition to 6-month old Alexandra, the Bowens are the parents of Drew, 7, and Mazzie, 5, both New Buffalo Elementary students.

Bowen’s parents, Tom and Renee, and grandmother Fay were on hand for Bowen’s selection during the 12-minute meeting.

“It’s like a dream come true.  I always knew he would be part of the schools here and it’s something he’s talked about since high school,” said Renee Bowen.

Still facing the board is the selection of a new board member to fill the term that ends November 2018 to replace Lee Artz, who resigned last month citing expanded work responsibilities. Due by May 15, letters of interest should be sent to New Buffalo Area Schools, P.O. Box 280, New Buffalo, MI, 49117, or emailed to

The board selected board member Frank Magro as vice president, a position previously held by Artz.

In other May 8 business, the school board:

• Adopted the resolution for the 2017-18 Berrien Regional Education Service Agency’s general fund operating budget, which Leslie termed “conservative;”

• Appointed Martina Ciccarelli and Donna Messinger to two-year terms on the Berrien RESA Parent Advisory Committee;

• And heard that 2017 graduation will be Sunday, June 4, at 1:30 p.m.

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