Katie Spanos and Chad Ray were named Students of the Month for March at Lower Dauphin High School.
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Written by Eric Wise
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John E. Rowan II, a long-time teacher and coach at several Middletown schools, died on Thursday, March 31 at his Enhaut home. He was 83.
Rowan taught for 32 years in the Middletown Area School District, mostly at elementary schools, and coached cross country, track and basketball in the district for more than 40 years. He retired from teaching in 1986 and continued coaching until 1992, earning 1,156 career victories in all of the sports in which he was involved.
Rowan was a "very intense" mentor with "very high standards" who “didn’t do anything halfway – it was all or nothing,’’ said Earl Bright, principal at Middletown Area’ s Reid Elementary School and a former student in Rowan’s fourth-grade class. When Bright was a member of the Middletown Area High School’s cross country team, Rowan, his coach, would be standing at the finish line, cheering him on – even though Bright was one of the team’s slowest runners.
"He would cheer for you and hold you accountable as much as everyone else on the team," Bright recalled. "He was cheering for me like he was cheering for the first-place person."
In fact, Rowan encouraged every student through sports, Bright said. “He’d make sure every single, solitary person in that classroom was the captain’’ in intramural sports, regardless of their level of ability, he said.
Rowan taught and coached 3,037 students throughout his tenure at Mansberger Elementary School, Grandview Elementary School, Feaser Middle School and Middletown Area High School, Bright said. The teams he coached earned 30 league championships, and 15 to 30 of his student-athletes won state titles in track and field, Bright said.
Born in Harrisburg, Rowan was a 1950 graduate of John Harris High School and a 1954 graduate of Shippensburg University.
A public memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 7 at Centenary United Methodist Church, Swatara Twp., with the Rev. Dr. B. Michael Brossman officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday.
Private gravesite services and burial will be held at the convenience of the family. Wiedeman Funeral Home of Steelton is handling arrangements.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2016 15:59