Rowe Earns 2019 Midlo Student of the Year

Midlothian High School Student of the Year (Grades 11 & 12)

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Midlothian High School Principal Shawn Abel recently awarded senior Michael Rowe the prestigious honor of 2019 Student of the Year for the grades 11 and 12. With Rowe’s long list of achievements and exemplary personal characteristics, this special distinction is well-deserved. Rowe is an inquisitive, well-rounded student, who has obtained the highest rank of Boy Scouts. He has entertained by performing major roles in the Midlo Theatre Department, while standing out as a varsity outside hitter on the Midlo Varsity Boys Volleyball team. Recently, Rowe accepted an appointment to the distinguished United States Air Force Academy as additional notch on his list of accomplishments. Rowe’s close friend, Jack Maloy shared, “I’m glad to see that [after] all the things he’s done,” he has received recognition, “especially the stuff he does outside of school; it’s very well-deserved.” 

Each year, the administration requests nominations from the teachers to recognize one ninth or tenth outstanding student and one outstanding eleventh or twelfth grade student as Midlo Student of the Year. The tenth grade recipient is Sarah Nugent.  The nomination criteria sought students who “deserve significant recognition for their contribution to the school and community, and who consistently demonstrate the values of respect, responsibility, honesty, and accountability.” After receiving initial nominations, the administrators solicited additional comments before making their final decisions. According to Midlothian High Associate Principal Elizabeth Baber, Rowe received the honor because “he embodies the values and ideals of Midlothian High School and Chesterfield County Public Schools.” She added, “Being student of the year is more than the sum of awards and recognitions you have received; it is also about character and leadership, which Michael displays in everything he does.”

Despite all of his extracurricular activities, Rowe manages to his balance school work with an extremely busy schedule. Rowe maintains a 4.52 GPA, place him in the top 10% of the senior class. He participates in the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math National Honor Society), and the Science National Honor Society. English teacher Ms. Jackie Tully mentioned his work ethic and skill as “true Renaissance man,” and his dedication as he “always participates and gives 100%” in her AP Literature class.

Rowe’s dedication extends outside the classroom setting. One of his passions, not easily overlooked, lies in theater. His impressive list of credits include the recent role of Ed in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, for which he worked tirelessly to memorize his extensive lines. When not in the spotlight, he happily serves as a dedicated member of the running crew, as he did for the musical, The Wizard of Oz. “He doesn’t always need to be the star,” Midlo Theatre Director, Ms. Katherine Baugher, remarked. “He allows other people to have the spotlight, in the classroom and on stage in front of the school.”    

At the end of October, Rowe achieved the highest rank of Boy Scouts: the Eagle Scout. He joined the Boy Scouts of America when he was just a first grader as young cub scout. As an Eagle Scout, one of his projects included building four dog houses and donating them to dogs living in poor conditions. The Scouts meet once a week every Tuesday, and once a month, they participate in camping trips. One of his most notable trips was the Philmont Trek in New Mexico on the Philmont Scout Ranch, where he completed 80 miles of hiking in two weeks. On this particular occasion, the Scouts elected Rowe as the crew leader for the whole trek. 

For the next four years, Rowe will continue his education at the prestigious United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, a noteworthy accomplishment, since it has only a 12.3 percent acceptance rate. This academy is a college combined with cadet training and is free of charge with the promise of each accepted student’s service in the US Air Force.  Mrs. Baugher shared that she believes “the academy is perfect for him.”

Although Rowe boasts a list of accomplishments, his AP Literature teacher, Mrs. Tully added that “his most important attribute is that he is humble.” Many agree with the sentiment regarding his kind, polite nature. “He’s the student that knows when I’m having a bad day. He knows when to ask me how I am, instead of the other way around. That’s just the kind of person he is,” Mrs. Baugher said. Furthermore, he always stands ready to help other students, “specifically in the upcoming play, Man of La Mancha,” shared Samantha Ramirez. “He’s in the crew and choreograph[ed] the fight scenes. It attests to his character.”  Not only do Rowe’s friends appreciate him and what he does for the school and the community; the Midlothian faculty and administration hold him in high regard as well. The future certainly looks bright for the Class of 2019’s Michael Rowe.