Alumni Update: Paige Gowing

Alumni Update: Paige Gowing
Posted on 02/21/2020
GowingHow many people knew that Liberty’s awesome librarian, Mrs. Paige Gowing, attended Liberty Common School; and, as a child, read books from the very library she now maintains as an adult? No fiction here. Mrs. Gowing attended Liberty through her elementary and junior-high years. Liberty didn’t have a high school back then, so Paige attended Rocky Mountain High School graduating in 2009. From there, she earned an Associate of Arts degree at Front Range Community College, and a BA in English from CSU with a concentration in creative writing.

After graduating from CSU, Paige worked as a front-office aid, and an AST aid at our high school. When the late Mrs. Connie Behr announced her retirement in 2017, Paige applied for the job, got it, and now works in the same space – now called The Connie Behr Memorial Library – she came to love as a kid. “All the classics I learned about at Liberty became my favorites,” Mrs. Gowing said. “When I saw some of these authors again in college, I was totally ready and enthusiastic to learn even more about them at the next level.” Now, she thrives by acquainting Liberty Common students with the same thrill of reading.

“I love the Liberty community,” Gowing said. “I like being with the kids, instilling in them a love for books, and helping them find the right books. It’s like a puzzle.”
Mrs. Gowing’s mother is Mrs. Bev Hanawalt, the schools Director of Operations. “Because I was here for so long,” Gowing said, “this school has become a huge part of my life. Plus, my mom started working here when I was in the 5th grade, and that deepened the impact of the school in our family, and on me. As a Liberty student, I volunteered for my mom, my teachers, and Mrs. Behr on occasion. I feel like the education I got at Liberty really set me up for the rest of my education. I had so much background information from attending Liberty, that I went on to high school, into college, and my career very well prepared to do well – totally confident in my abilities. My high school was easy-peasy thanks to what I learned at Liberty. In college, I knew I wanted to read books, and to be with good books.”

A particularly memorable school project Mrs. Gowing remembers involved making a video of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. “For Señora V’s (Mrs. Velgersdyk) Level-3 Spanish class, we had to translate the script into Spanish,” Gowing explained. “We filmed it at Horsetooth Rock, and presented it in class. We did pretty well. We got a good grade!”

Mrs. Gowing has some good advice for current Liberty students: “Read all the classics you can find. Read them all, even if they seem boring. There’s a reason they’re ‘classic.’ It’s because they have something important to offer; and, in reality, they’re actually not boring,” she says. “So many other modern works are based upon themes and stories from the classics.”

Gowing also has some general life advice about attending a demanding school like Liberty, and the importance of lifelong learning. “Stick with it,” she says. “Perseverance is the key to achieving anything that you want.” Gowing says knowing how to persevere made a big difference in her life. “I applied for job, after job, after job, until I finally got the one at Liberty that is a perfect fit for me,” she explained. “Pick your goals, and go for it.”