By JORDIN RUTHSTEIN
After 15 years of teaching, Mike Rowson is attempting a second try at retirement.
“I wanted to retire while I was still having fun and still healthy enough to travel,” Rowson said. “I didn’t want to be a teacher who said, ‘I wish I would’ve retired last year.’”
Rowson’s teaching career began after he retired in 1992 from a 20-year career as a Navy pilot.
His daughter, Amy Rowson, was in junior high at the time and working on a math problem. When he showed her how to solve it, she said, “We can’t do it that way. We have to do it my teacher’s way.” That’s when he realized he wanted to teach math to show students that there is more than one way to solve a problem.
His favorite part of teaching is the moment when he gets to see a student to see something they’ve been struggling with.
He has spent 15 years teaching, first working at Hickman before taking the position at West Junior High. This year he taught eighth- and ninth-grade students; he also taught seventh-grade in previous years. He has also been a sponsor for the National Junior Honor Society for 12 years, though not this year, and was the assistant Math Counts coach for all 15 years.
After he retires, Rowson hopes to continue to travel, something he began to love during his time in the Navy and continued to do while teaching. He also plans to spend time with his family.
Rowson and his wife, Becky Rowson, live together in Columbia, where their two children also live. His son, Scott Rowson, lives in Columbia with his wife, Amber Rowson. Mike Rowson’s daughter, Amy, also lives in Columbia. He also has two grandchildren, a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old, whom Becky nannies for one day a week.
After a life in Columbia, where Mike and Becky met in college and moved back to after his retirement from the Navy, the Rowsons have no intention of leaving.