Northwest Arts gets West Virginia principal

Barry Bowe, an arts leader and elementary school principal in Charleston, W.Va., has been tapped to lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Northwest School of the Arts.

The school board is scheduled to confirm his appointment Tuesday. But people connected with Charlotte's popular middle-high arts magnet learned about the new principal this week, when Bowe's job change was reported in Charleston newspapers. Some had set up online alerts to let them know when their school made news anywhere.

Bowe said today he learned about the opening when someone forwarded an e-mail from the Northwest search committee. It contained a description of “our ideal principal.”

“I started laughing, because it's my resume,” Bowe said.

Bowe opened an elementary-school performing arts magnet in Charleston in 1998 and was named the county's principal of the year two years later. He has degrees in music and photography, is certified as a music teacher and is active in state arts organizations. He is currently principal of Weberwood Elementary in Charleston.

Northwest, which has about 1,100 students in grades 6-12, draws arts enthusiasts from across Mecklenburg County. The school's founding principal, Charles LaBorde, retired this summer.

Bowe will start Labor Day week.