Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart County News-Herald
Debbie Fowler, Assistant Superintendent of the Hart County School System, is retiring effective October 1, 2021.
Mrs. Fowler began her educational journey in Hart County as a student at LeGrande Elementary School. After graduating from Hart County High School, she furthered her education at Campbellsville College and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration.
While employed at Hart County Bank and Trust, Mrs. Fowler was given the opportunity to further her education. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Banking from the University of Kentucky.
Although she enjoyed her years with the bank, as a mother Mrs. Fowler felt a calling from God to return to school to achieve her teaching certification. In 1994, she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Middle Grades Education with an emphasis in English and Social Studies from Western Kentucky University. At that time, she was employed to teach English to grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 at Munfordville Elementary. In 2000, she began teaching Freshman English at Hart County High School.
In 2005, Mrs. Fowler was named Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year. By 2010, she led the first Freshman Raider Academy. Just one year later in 2011, she became Hart County School’s High School Instructional Supervisor and Title I Coordinator.
Mrs. Fowler’s leadership degrees include School Principal, Supervisory of Instruction, and Superintendency. In 2012-2013, she served as Hart County High School Principal, and in 2016 she served as Munfordville Elementary Principal.
Mrs. Fowler was named Assistant Superintendent of Hart County Schools in 2018. Now, as she embarks upon retirement, there are many who are thankful to have been a colleague of hers through the years.
“Mrs. Fowler’s commitment, dedication, and contributions to our school district will be missed,” said Superintendent Nathan Smith. “Her love for our students, staff, parents, and community as a whole has always been the focus of her decision-making for all stakeholders. I wish her the best in her retirement.”
“It has been a privilege to work alongside Mrs. Fowler for many years in the Hart County school system,” said Bo Chenoweth, current Assistant Principal at HCHS. “She has been a champion for students, a courageous leader, and a wise peer. Her strong faith has guided her through many different roles, all of which have received her thorough dedication. She will be sorely missed, but she is appreciated beyond measure. Congratulations to her as she retires. May God bless her with health and generous amounts of time creating memories with her grandchildren and family. Happy retirement!”
The positive impact that Mrs. Fowler had on students during her days as a teacher is also evident.
“Being an educator is more than just showing up to teach a class,” said Lindsey Tester, a former student of Mrs. Fowler. “It’s learning about your students, who they are, what they need, and how you can grow them into the adults they will someday become. Mrs. Fowler is all of that and more. The lessons I learned from Mrs. Fowler will stay with me forever. She was always there for me when others weren’t. I’m so grateful she was a part of my education and life.”
“From eighth grade when I first met Mrs. Fowler to when I see her around town now, I have never once seen her not smiling,” said former student Jake Lindsey. “I still see her in town rooting on those kids she knew through those years. We were lucky to have her. She always gave out love and encouragement, and every one of us who had her in class were better for it.”
As many are grateful to have had Mrs. Fowler be a part of their educational career, Mrs. Fowler is also thankful to have been a part of the Hart County School System as well.
“Hart County has been great to me,” Mrs. Fowler said in a previous news story. “If a little farm girl from Three Springs can be successful and find careers that bless her life, anyone with a dream and a push can succeed. Public education was a great part of that dream, and my parents were a great part of the push. I am so grateful for these blessings in my life.”
It is without a doubt that the students of Hart County and the community as a whole will be left a better place because of Mrs. Fowler’s compassion, kindness, and unwavering dedication. On behalf of The Hart County News-Herald, we wish her a happy retirement.
Well-wishes to Mrs. Fowler from coworkers and former students
“When I think of Mrs. Fowler, I remember her as my piano teacher, Sunday School teacher, mentor, and advisor/counselor. But most of all, I see a very wise person whom I have always looked up to and wanted to be more like. This verse says it all: “She is clothed with strength and dignity.” Proverbs 31:25. Blessings to Mrs. Fowler as she enters this wonderful time in her life! Enjoy!” LaRissa Trousdale
“Since 2010, Debbie and I have been known as the district office version of Thelma and Louise! Working with Debbie has been a highlight of my time in the Hart County School District. She is an amazing role model, and I’m honored to call her my friend!” Angela Frank
“Mrs. Debbie Fowler has been such an inspiration to everyone. She has dedicated her life to the students, district, and community of Hart County and has always worked hard to do what is right for the students. As a colleague, my principal, and friend for twenty years, I am a better person because of her. Hart County is a better place because of Mrs. Fowler.” Cary Barrett
“Mrs. Fowler, first off I would like to congratulate you on your much earned, well-deserved retirement. In Romans 12:6-8 Paul writes. ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.’ There is no doubt that the gift given to you was teaching. Students left your classroom better than they entered each and every day. Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty in your classroom, bringing out the best in your students. Here’s to a retirement that is full of fun, happiness, and blessings. Thank you for being my teacher.” Ecil Miller, Class of 2006
“I loved this woman in my HCHS days. She got me through some of the toughest years of my life. Great teacher, great advice giver, and such an amazing woman all in all. I’ve even contacted her since my school days for my daughter having a hard time in high school, and she was right there…Hope she knows how much of an impact she did leave behind with us all. Love you, Mrs. Fowler. I hate to see you go, but you sure have earned it.” Kymberli Bryant
“Debbie has been one of my favorite people for 20 years now. She has been my English teacher, a fellow church member, and friend over those years. I love that she never really leaves you. She has actually helped me revise my college papers this year, even though I haven’t been in her classroom for 18 years now.” Jessica Thomas Withers
“Best teacher of all time.” John McBride
“I first met Mrs. Fowler as my 8th grade English teacher at HCHS. I knew from day one that she would be one of those individuals I would spend the rest of my life thinking of when asked who made a positive impact on my life. She was always a dedicated teacher who would never let anyone fall behind. It made no difference to her of a student’s last name, who their parents were, or anything of that nature. She treated everyone equal and believed in us all. Mrs. Fowler helped to spark a fire inside of me that further pushed my love for reading and writing. I credit her for the writer I am today. But perhaps what will stay with me for the rest of my life lies not in what I learned about English, but rather what she taught me about life: be honest, never give up, and always go out of your way to help those in need. There’s a quote that states: ‘Your legacy is not left in the things you leave behind, but in the hearts and lives that you touch.’ Mrs. Fowler, I can never thank you enough for all you have done for me throughout my life, even beyond the walls of HCHS. Your kindness, innovation, and passion for teaching has made my life better and has made the world a better place.” Mary Beth (Jewell) Sallee