A Heart for Teaching and Daily Connections
Resident Ilana Bove recently retired after 17 years as a teacher and school librarian.
Bove was raised in an environment that honored the profession of teaching and valued education. Both of Bove’s parents obtained their doctorates and became professors. Her father was the head of the Electro Media Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and her mother was an adjunct professor in the Child Development – Family Services department. Following in her parents’ footsteps, Bove pursued a degree in special education at Purdue.
During her senior year, Bove interned at a child behavioral health services center and it furthered her desire to become a teacher. Bove observed students with mental health issues paired with learning disabilities. Her interest and studies in special needs led her to California where she taught first and second – a blended grade – at a private nonprofit school for special needs children. This experience led Bove to pursue her master’s degree in special education.
In 1992, Bove made the move back to Indiana where she married Tom, who she had met on a blind date while attending Purdue. She taught special needs students in another blended third-through-sixth-grade classroom. She then taught one year in upper elementary, and Bove realized her heart was with lower elementary students.
Tom’s law firm moved the couple to Indianapolis where she taught one year in Noblesville prior to having their first child, Joe. Bove put her teaching career on hold to raise her son.
In the late ‘90s, the Bove family moved to Castle Pines where they welcomed their second child, Maddie. While Bove raised her young children, she earned a second master’s degree in information and learning technologies from University of Colorado Denver.
In 2010, Bove went back to teaching again at Timber Trail Elementary (TTE). She began as an educational assistant, followed by an afternoon kindergarten teacher, and subsequently taught second grade. In the final lap of her teaching career, Bove became the TTE librarian, which allowed her to serve all grades of elementary students but also left some time for her to care for her ailing mother.
As the school librarian, Bove was able to incorporate her classroom teaching skills and creativity while also developing unique, fun, and educational curriculum in the library. Academics were important, but her goal was to make each student feel seen and heard through meaningful daily connections and simple conversations.
This summer marks the beginning of Bove’s retirement. While she will no longer teach within the walls of TTE, she will continue to make daily connections by volunteering her skills for the underprivileged. She also wants to learn Italian and collaborate with her sister on a book project honoring their mother.
By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of Ilana Bove