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The Voice of the Biff

By: Jacqueline Shandler

            If Andover’s graduating class of 1971 would have had a “most likely to stay in the Bloomfield bubble” mock election, we now know who would have won, Pete Bowers.

Pete Bowers has been a part of the Bloomfield Hills School District ever since he started school at Hickory Grove elementary, which was a brand new school back then, in 1958. After, he attended East Hills Middle School for his seventh and eighth grade years. Bowers explains his middle school years, “There was so many students when I was in junior high that a third middle school was built, West Hills. They redrew the lines in the district and I ended up going to West Hills for ninth grade because the high schools only had tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade [back then]. I went from being an east sider to a west sider in one year, and that’s how I ended up at Andover.”

In 1969, while Pete Bowers was in high school, he worked for the recreation department as a camp counselor and ended up running a day camp. The location of the radio station now at Andover High School is where the recreation department stood many years ago. Bowers explains his experience, “I walked through those very doors as a sophomore in high school to apply for a recreation job. Little did I know, years later I would be working here everyday.”

Later on, Pete Bowers attended Central Michigan University with a Broadcast and Cinematic Arts degree. At the time, there was a job opening up at Andover to run the radio station. Bowers told his next step, “I graduated in 1975 and started the job in 1976; 35 years ago.”

Mr. Bowers is not the only one in his family who has grown up and stayed in the Bloomfield area. He describes it as having “deep roots here in Bloomfield.”  Pete Bower’s father raised his three boys in Bloomfield Hills and contributed his time to improving the BHSD. Pete Bowers shares his father’s contributions, “In 1960, he was the PTO president of Hickory Grove elementary school and they asked him to run for the school board. He won and he ended up being on the school board for nineteen years. As far as I know, no one else has been on the school board for that long.” Bowers continues to talk about his father, Charles Bowers, “He had been involved in setting up the school farm in being an outdoor learning program and he was also involved in the nature center and even the radio station. He ended up passing away in 1984 and the school district wanted to honor his name. At the time, the school farm did not have a name and as a result, the school board decided to name the farm the ‘Charles L. Bowers School Farm’ in his name.” In addition to the farm, the school board members decided to name the alternative high school, “Bowers Academy,” in his name.

Bowers gives his thoughts about the recognition given to his family, “My family is very honored to have both of those things named after my Dad. It is very cool to drive by and see his name on there. He would be very proud of what they are doing there.”

Pete Bower’s brother, “T. Bowers,” also works for the Bloomfield Hills School District at Andover and is nearing almost twenty years working there. He is in charge of the security, hall monitors and the parking lot at Andover High School.

Also, both of Mr. Bower’s sons attended schools in this district. They went to Hickory Grove, East Hills and Lahser. Bowers has been a student, parent, teacher, and employee for a very long time.

However, Pete Bowers’ job for the past 35 years has been being the Bloomfield community radio station manager of 88.1 WBFH “The Biff.” The Biff celebrated it’s birthday for being on the air for 35 consecutive years this year on October 1.

Altogether, Mr. Bowers has had a very successful year with the radio station and as a teacher for the BHSD. He shares his accomplishments, “It has been a good year, received the distinguished service award in March, WBFH won Best Station in the Nation, and I recently won the National Award for the Best Radio Station Advisor [for the second time].” Mr. Bowers is a dedicated teacher to the Bloomfield Hills School District and has devoted so many hours to his students and to the radio station. He continues to work to improve the district he has lived in his entire life.

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