Thoughtful, dedicated, intelligent. These are words that many have used to describe Mrs. Rowe, whose illustrious career is coming to an end after this school year. After teaching for 27 years and positively impacting thousands of students, Mrs. Rowe is set to retire.
Her presence will be missed not only by students but also by the many teachers that have gained invaluable insight and knowledge from her. Social Studies teacher and department leader, Mr. Newby, will miss the connections she makes with students and the engagement. He says, “Her focus is getting kids to enjoy learning and getting kids to be the best they can be,” which has made the students’ lives and teachers’ jobs easier.
Mrs. Rowe’s distinguished career began in the military, where her first job was to deploy nuclear missiles in Germany, but she also collected information and intelligence. She served 10 years in total, and “enjoyed every minute of it.” During her time in the military, she was able to travel across the world, and fire “just about every weapon in the arsenal.”
While her military career was successful, she still wanted to fulfill her “plan B”: teaching. She received dual degrees in Economics and Education while in college, and through the ROTC program, the government paid for her tuition. In turn, she owed four years of service, but, “[she] was having such a good time, [she] stayed quite a bit longer.”
In addition to her two degrees, Mrs. Rowe minored in German and Military Science. She was also then “certified as a teacher, and figured [she would] circle back to that eventually.”
Mrs. Rowe values interactivity in teaching. She says, “My favorite part of teaching is when something is happening in the classroom that is funny, and the kids actually let you in on it. You really feel like you’re a part of the class and not just the teacher standing off to the side.”
Mrs. Rowe also values the close connections she has with her students. Every day, you can count on her to be standing outside her classroom, with a smile and greeting her former and current students. She loves, “standing out in the hall, and [thinks] that’s gonna be hard for [her] to not have…people to say hello to every morning.”
She also relishes the fact that she gets to see students grow up through four years of high school. Since she teaches 9th grade, she gets to watch freshmen on their first day of school all the way to the final day of their senior year. “It’s nice that I teach 9th grade because then I get to see the kids grow up. If I met you when you were juniors or seniors, I wouldn’t have that perspective.”
Ms. Rowe also has close relationships with her colleagues and fellow teachers. Mr. Newby remarks, “To Ms. Rowe, thank you for everything you’ve done, she’s helped me with my job, and helped everybody in the department, and been a great friend and a great leader, and I hope she has an awesome retirement and enjoys herself.”
During her retirement, Ms. Rowe will pick back up the activities she enjoys, including swimming, running, and horseback riding, which she has not been able to do for a while. She will also take up a new hobby: beekeeping. After plenty of research, she decided she is very interested in “manhandling bees” and taking care of them.
In her final remarks, she says, “Thank you. Thank you for going along with me. Thank you for doing what I asked and working hard. Thank you for being kind and good people. At some point you’re gonna be out there and successful, I hope that some little bit of what I did helped.”
From all the students and staff at Blake, we all wish Mrs. Rowe a fascinating and adventurous retirement. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you have done for all students past and present.