Following the upcoming April retirement of Superintendent Ethan Hildreth, Bowler will assume the district’s top slot.
School board spokesman J.D. Hardin said in a statement Bowler brings a “wealth of knowledge and experience from the various roles he has served in throughout the system,” including working directly with the top-level administrators in the county through the superintendent’s senior staff.
Prior to joining Henry County Schools, Bowler spent two years as a counselor at the Roosevelt Wilderness Outdoor Therapeutic Program.
He gained his start in the district as a special education teacher at Eagle’s Landing in 1991.
Four years later Bowler was promoted to assistant principal.
He served as the first principal of Union Grove High School when it opened in 2000 before moving to the county’s administrative offices to serve as director of human resources in 2007.
Bowler earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, and master’s and specialist degrees from the University of West Georgia.
He is married with two children.
“Being named as the 14th superintendent for Henry County Schools is indeed an honor and I am truly humbled,” Bowler said in a statement. “It is with great respect, humility and passion that I look forward to serving the students, staff and community of Henry County as superintendent.”
Ethan Hildreth, Ed.D., announced his retirement in September, prompting the school board to begin a search for a new leader for the seventh largest school district in Georgia.
After an extensive search, the list of applicants and interviewees was reduced to two finalists.
Bowler emerged as the school board’s choice and its decision was made final at its regular monthly meeting.
“We are excited to have Mr. Bowler as our next superintendent,” school board chair Pam Nutt said in a statement. “He is familiar with this system and the employees are familiar with his strong leadership. We know that great things will continue to happen for our students, staff, and community with him leading the charge.”
Hildreth worked with Bowler for many years and added a vote of confidence to the school board’s decision.
“For 23 years, I have had the privilege of working with Rodney Bowler,” Hildreth said. “We have worked together as teachers, as high school principals, and as school system leaders. He is a man of integrity and an able leader who has successfully served the students, families, and community for many years. Henry County Schools enjoys great success and an outstanding reputation across the state of Georgia and I am confident that Mr. Bowler will continue this tradition as he leads our school system and community into the future.”
The coming months will allow time for further transition planning and collaboration to ensure a smooth transfer of leadership in April.
The search will now begin for a new assistant superintendent for administrative services.
Bowler’s statement continues below.
“Henry County Schools is a destination school system. Our mission, vision and goals are strong. Our staff members and students are among the top in the nation and are well-positioned for continued greatness; this is evidenced each and every day both in and out of our classrooms. Even in the face of tough economic times, the staff of Henry County Schools adheres to our motto of ensuring success for each student. The one constant factor that cannot be removed through some of the most challenging times in education is our staff’s love for children. The staff of Henry County Schools is committed to each and every member of our family, and that first includes the nearly 41,000 students in our district.
“The success of any organization requires having great people who are dedicated to achieving great results. I am blessed to be surrounded by this type of greatness, not only within our school system, but within my family. I would not have the career that I have without the love of my highly supportive family. My wife Kimberly, my son Kyle and my daughter Emily are my rock, my energizers, and my pride and joy.
“In addition, I would like to thank the community at large. Over the course of the months that have passed since Dr. Hildreth announced his pending retirement, I have been greeted with well wishes and encouragement as I have traveled around Henry County. This is truly a humbling experience, which further drives my commitment to the community and excites me about the welcomed and new opportunities I now have to serve.”