Ruth has been an active parent volunteer at Bowen for seven years, including PTO Co-Chair, Safe Routes to Schools Committee, and PTO Council. Most recently, she was the Bowen liaison to the 2013 Override.
Professionally, Ruth has over 25 years experience in non-profit management, experiential education, and philanthropy. As a long-time Outward Bound Instructor, she developed strong teaching and interpersonal skills, and has significant experience and training in group facilitation and team building. Following her outdoor career, Ruth continued in non-profit work, overseeing a training and employment program for street youth. Her career in philanthropy coincided with a move back to New England where she has spent the past 13 years managing grantmaking strategies focused on community organizing, environmental revitalization, and youth leadership in urban areas across the northeast.
Ruth grew up in Newton, attending the Bowen Elementary School, Weeks Jr. High and graduating from Newton South High School. She and her husband, Patrick Powdermaker, also a Bowen/Weeks/NSHS alumnus, moved back to Newton in 2004 to raise their two children now in 6th grade at Oak Hill and 3rd grade at Bowen. Ruth’s parents still reside in their Newton home and her mother-in-law was a librarian for many years in the Newton schools.
Ruth received a BA from Dartmouth College and an M.Ed. from the University of Toronto.