Joe Bova sparks inspiration at Foothill and beyond


Jordyn Savard

Joe Bova has moved on from Principal of Foothill after 18 years.

Dylan Mullaney, Adler Striegel, and Siena Hager

As of Feb. 3, Joe Bova will no longer be known as principal, but director. After serving as Foothill Technology’s principal for an astounding 18 years, Bova will continue a new chapter in his educational profession as Career Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator. 

Reflecting on his time as principal of Foothill Technology High School (FTHS), Bova recalled his first day back in Feb. of 2002: “I remember thinking, I don’t want to be the principal of the school no one is coming to.” There wasn’t even a waitlist since Foothill “hadn’t really established its reputation yet.” 

This challenge didn’t dissuade Bova, in fact, it inspired him to collaborate with enthusiastic staff members to create a highly desirable educational program that would ultimately earn top nationwide rankings and the trust of the community. Bova led by example, encouraging everyone to be working at their very best for students and families. The unique lottery application process meant that “[Foothill was] not guaranteed a single student,” and it was important to make Foothill a desirable place for students. Bova maintained a commitment to self-evaluating and improving the school, constantly evolving in pursuit of excellence: “we go above and beyond to create a place that people really want to be at.” 

In a recent review, Bova agreed with the reviewer’s comment that Foothill’s slogan is we are “powered by choice,” meaning that each student and staff member chose to come to Foothill because they want to be here, and most importantly they want the opportunity to do something different. 



Bova was instrumental to the growth of academic strength at Foothill and he had fun doing it.

Bova affectionately stated that he is not only surrounded by faculty, but by family. He jokingly remarked that he has been with his staff for twice the time an average marriage lasts, demonstrating the immense amount of connections he’s established at Foothill. 



One of Bova’s favorite Foothill traditions is the staff Air Guitar performances. Goofing around with staff not only built camaraderie, but brought students and teachers together; Bova cherished “seeing kids faces light up because they’re excited about the relationship they have with staff.” 

After building a solid reputation for academic excellence during his first 10 years at Foothill, Bova believes future growth will be centered around the development of pathway opportunities, such as the DTech and Bioscience Academies. “The growth I see is making more and more real authentic experiences for students,” said Bova,  emphasizing hands-on education as the vision for the future.  



As CTE Coordinator, Bova plans to bring opportunities like the ones at Foothill to more schools in the district at various school sites. One of his main objectives is to build pathways that are geared toward the career abundances in 2020, such as fields in health science, communication and technology.

As this chapter of Bova’s life comes to a close, he is grateful for his new opportunities and reminiscent of his old ones, reflecting back on each stage of his life “as equally awesome.” He is excited to see what the future will bring. 

“Whatever I do in the future, and whatever jobs I’ve had in the past, I’ve enjoyed all of them and have felt really good about the impact that I’ve had,” said Bova, yet “I will never do anything that I’m more proud of than this, what we’ve accomplished together here.”

Many of the opportunities that past, present and future Dragons have had are due to the work Joe Bova has put into Foothill. The positive impact he has made on the development of young adults over the past two decades is widespread and cannot be fully measured.

His departure will be felt by students, families and staff. However, his work is not done, Bova will always be a Dragon and he will light fires of inspiration throughout the district as he makes connections between educational institutions and places of business, lighting the way for all students throughout our district. 

Editor’s Note: Thinglink Credit: Adler Striegel / Photo Credit: Siena Hager

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