ODEM – Odem-Edroy Independent School District announced hiring two principals on its Facebook page on July 11. The district welcomed Calvin Bowers as the principal of Odem High School and Joe Vela as the principal of Odem Junior High School.

Bowers is starting his 11th year in education. He spent his first six years as a social studies teacher and as a football coach. 

In the last four years, Bowers served as the Sinton High School assistant principal.

“I’m excited to join the Odem-Edroy ISD family,” said Bowers. “I chose Odem because I was looking for an ISD that had a vision to make dreams come true for kids.”

Bowers stated that OEISD Superintendent Yolanda Carr has a vision for the high school that aligned with his own vision.

“The vision that Miss Carr has is to provide postsecondary pathways for every kid in the school,” said Bowers. “And so we want to provide a diversity of postsecondary options and prepare students for postsecondary opportunities.”

“And so I felt like my vision for a high school aligns with Miss Carr’s and the vision of the district to prepare students for life after high school whether that be college career, military and beyond.”

One goal Bowers wants to accomplish as principal is to ensure the high school has a 100 percent graduation rate and for every graduate to be prepared for post-graduation.

“We’re going to align all of our courses and efforts to ensure that our students are postsecondary ready,” he said. 

Bowers said that he is looking forward to working with the community and building a great high school in Odem. 

“It takes a village and a total community effort to have a high performing school,” said Bowers. “Our door here at the high school is open to community members. We want to work together to build a high performing high school and so I look at it as a partnership and excited about it moving forward.”

Meanwhile, Vela has 18 years of experience in education. In those years, he has also spent his time as a coach. 

“Coaching is in my blood so it helps when you come to working with school leadership and things so, you’re out in the open and you’re visible,” he said.

Vela recently served as the West Oso High School assistant principal. 

“We turned an IR (Improvement Required) school  into a good performance school pretty much overnight with hard work and determination,” he said.

Vela said it is a blessing to be at Odem-Edroy ISD. With the leadership of Carr, Bowers and the administration, Vela believes they are going to do great things for the district. 

“Odem is one of the best school districts in the area that nobody knows about yet but we’re going to make it known,” said Vela. 

“We’re going to make it shine, we’re going to make an effort to put us out there and people are going to want to come to Odem because you have that small town feel to it, but yet, I’d feel that you know Mr. Bowers, Mrs. Carr, and everyone else,  we’re going to build something special here, even more than what it already is.” 

One goal Vela has for the junior high is to prepare his students for high school. Another goal Vela has is to serve teachers. 

“We have a great program that very few schools in the state of Texas received the distinctions that the junior high received, so my job is to maintain and build on that, serve our teachers and serve the community in any way I can,” Vela said.

Just like Bowers, Vela said his doors are open to the community. 

“I’m here to work for them (the community) and they are truly our bosses,” Vela said. “The door is always going to be open and I’m here to serve them and do the best job I can do.”