Michael Rowe began working in education 25 years ago. He said he entered the field because “I believe in the power of education to transform lives and see teaching as a way to contribute to the betterment of society.”
After taking the helm as Rowan County’s new superintendent on July 1, he said he hopes he can help provide safety and security for young people through education, and by valuing equity and inclusion.
“I will work diligently to create and maintain a secure learning environment by implementing appropriate safety protocols, addressing bullying and harassment, and promoting physical and mental health initiatives,” he said.
Rowe holds advanced degrees in education, including a master’s degree from Morehead State University. He said every individual deserves to have their voice heard.
“Creating an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students is essential to our district’s success,” he said. “I will work tirelessly to eliminate achievement gaps and address disparities in academic outcomes. By providing equal access to a quality education for students from all backgrounds, we can nurture a diverse and thriving community.”
Rowe said he also will focus on improving elements of the district’s operations, including transparency, educational excellence, student achievement, and collaboration and engagement, along with equity and inclusion.
“Strong relationships and effective communication are at the heart of our success,” he said. “I value the input and expertise of our teachers, staff, parents and the wider community.”
Among the issues the district is facing is a teacher shortage, also felt elsewhere in Kentucky and across the nation. He said he recognizes that recruiting quality educators is crucial to excellence in teaching and learning, and it will require a multi-faceted approach that “requires ongoing commitment and collaboration among policymakers, educational institutions, communities and other stakeholders.”
The district also must consider recruitment, retention, working conditions and professional development. Rowe said he will prioritize ongoing professional development opportunities, mentoring programs and continuous learning initiatives to help teachers and staff grow their skills and knowledge.
Rowe said he believes Rowan County will be successful because of the way the community invests in its schools.
“Our district’s greatest asset is its people,” Rowe said. “The individuals who make up the school board, district community, students, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents are our most valuable resource.”
He noted it is also important to listen to students and involve them in the process of improving education.
“Students are at the heart of the education system, and their experiences, insights, and challenges provide invaluable lessons for educators at all levels,” he said. “Embracing their perspectives and feedback has led to more effective decision-making, improved policies and a more student-centered approach to education.”
Rowe said his former students have had as much of an impact on his professional journey as anyone.
“I would like thank all of my students for being an integral part of my journey and for continually inspiring me to be the best superintendent I can be,” he said.