George Bowman stands outside of Craig Intermediate School, where he teaches fifth grade. Bowman moved to Craig early this fall after teaching in an international school in Thailand for nearly 10 years.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

George Bowman stands outside of Craig Intermediate School, where he teaches fifth grade. Bowman moved to Craig early this fall after teaching in an international school in Thailand for nearly 10 years.

Rural charm draws world traveler to Craig


— George Bowman cannot escape the allure of exotic places.

His desire to see new cultures drove him across the globe to Bangkok, Thailand. There, he taught for nearly 10 years and met and married his wife, Dee.

Most recently, however, his urge to see new cultures has led him to Northwest Colorado, where he teaches fifth grade at Craig Intermediate School.

"We finally chose Craig because it still has the small-town atmosphere where my daughter can ride her bicycle" to school, Bowman said.

That's not to say the urge to live abroad has left him.

You might say traveling is in Bowman's blood.

After being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1992, where he served as a paratrooper, he attended college at Central Missouri State University. First, he earned his bachelor's degree in photojournalism in Missouri.

Visions of foreign travel fueled his foray into the profession.

"I thought, man, a journalist - '60 Minutes,'" he said. "I can go throughout the world and do all the exotic stuff."

But it didn't work that way, Bowman soon found out.

Before he could get a job with big-name news outlets, he would have to start in small-town media and work his way up.

Bowman relinquished that ambition and earned a master's degree in English as a second language. He also studied elementary education.

He still thought about seeing exotic locales, though. After graduating with his master's degree, he decided to travel the world some more.

His plan was to stay in Thailand for one year, two at the most.

But plans change, and Bowman's was no different.

After visiting some of the country's international schools, he decided to try teaching. He remained a teacher in Thailand for nearly 10 years.

He didn't regret his decisions about his location or his profession.

"I'd always imagined in my life that I was going to be somebody great and change the world," Bowman said. "As I got older, reality hit me, and I realized that I could not and would not ever be president of America.

"What I found out about teaching, though, is that I can change the world, albeit one student at a time."

Recently, however, he decided it was time to return to the U.S. The couple is making the move largely to benefit their daughter, who longs to live in a rural American community.

When Bowman scoped out Craig early this fall, he found a town close to Sara's ideal.

He also found a job at CIS where he and Kristi Shepherd, another CIS teacher, team up to teach fifth grade.

His experiences teaching abroad often feature in the classroom.

"He's very open," Shepherd said. "He talks abut his experiences in Thailand and the kids he taught" there.

Shepherd has found Bowman to be a helpful colleague.

"He's wonderful," she said. "He's got great ideas."

But although Bowman's teaching skills haven't left him, he had to re-learn a few things about living in the U.S.

Retraining himself how to drive on the right side of the road wasn't easy after living in Thailand for almost a decade. Neither was ordering a meal from a fast-food drive through.

And, when it came time to find a place where he and his family could live, he needed some help.

Fortunately, he found it.

Many Craig residents "went out of their way" to help him as he made the adjustment from urban Southeast Asia to rural Colorado, he said.

"And I think, to me, that (response) sort of exemplifies the Craig community. :

"That is part of the American culture," he added. "That's why I came here."

The desire to travel still hasn't left Bowman.

He and his wife still have their home in Bangkok and D&G Resort, a project they started together in the country. And, after a couple of years, they plan to begin looking around, seeing where they want to explore next.

But until then, Bowman is content to stay where he's at, enjoying Craig's small-town atmosphere.


MatthewFahey 8 years, 3 months ago

I personally know George as I taught with him in Thailand. I can tell you this guy is top shelf. Graig has done well to get him and it sounds like he is very happy to be there too. Great guy and a lovely family the three of them make (George, Dee and Sarah).


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