Bowman graduated from East Tennessee University with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education (1960) and a master of arts degree in reading education (1978). From 1960-2003, Bowman was employed as an elementary teacher in various schools throughout Northeast Tennessee. She is the recipient of multiple awards including, the award for Excellence in Education Programs, award for Innovative Practices in Developing Creative Readers and Writers and three time winner of the Teacher of the Year Award (K-4).
Bowman served as president of the Gilbreath Reading Council from 1990-1991. She is also a member of the International and the Tennessee reading associations and the National and Tennessee education association. She has given numerous education presentations and workshops throughout the years and stays involved in community service throughout Tennessee schools.