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Benefit concert will aid NFHS drama teacher
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Forsyth County News

Students continue to rally around North Forsyth High School drama director Ellie Bowman, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.

Senior Katie Argo and other drama students have organized a benefit concert for Bowman, which will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at His Rock Cafe in Dawsonville.

Though Bowman is ill, she continues to teach on a nearly full-time basis.

"She's not going to give up," Argo said. "She has good days and bad days, but she's had more good than bad lately."
Argo, who has been a student of Bowman's for three years, said those who attend Saturday's concert can help Bowman defray her "outrageous" medical bills.

Drama booster club president Cathy Couvillion said Argo has been the driving force behind organizing the event.

"There has been a lot of ongoing support from students like Katie and others," Couvillion said.

Students and parents have been taking turns cleaning Bowman's house and taking her to and from the doctor.

"There hasn't been a lot of financial support though," Couvillion said. "That's why it's fabulous that the kids are putting this benefit together ... medical insurance only covers so much."

Couvillion said Bowman's medication and doctor visit fees have built up and donations will go toward those bills, as well as helping Bowman finish her doctorate program.

As Bowman continues to teach and endure weekly trips to the doctor, she inspires her students, who have only good things to say about her.

Argo said Bowman succeeds by "not only taking her job as a teacher seriously by making sure we get our work done ... but she's also like a mother to us all, because if we ever need gas money we can go to her, or if we have something we need to talk to her about, her door is always open."

And that extends to every one of Bowman's students, Argo said.

"If someone in her class is shy, she takes a lot of time to help them get over that fear," she said. "She'll push them so that they'll step outside their box and learn about themselves."

Will Entrekin, a junior, described the drama program as "a tight-knit group."

Entrekin's mother died of cancer when he was 13, so he said Bowman's situation hits close to home.

"It's a really special relationship we have with [Bowman]," Entrekin said. "It's not even like a teacher-student relationship. We all call her mom."

The benefit concert will feature music by "Sunday Best" and "Vision City," as well as comedy from Daniel Buchanan.