You know the old saying, “good things come to those who wait.” THS’s own Mrs. Rowland may believe instead, “good things come to those who fight.” Rowland, a veteran of the AirForce military branch, has been loyal to this motto of the AirForce for her entire life, especially when life did not go as planned.
In her childhood, Rowland never saw herself joining the military. Even so, she loved her time on active duty and has brought much of that experience to her new career. In staying faithful to the AirForce motto, Rowland has truly “flown, fought, and won.”
Rowland had her life perfectly planned out by the 7th grade: she was going to become an interpreter at the U.N. She explains sarcastically, “When I got out of high school, I knew exactly what I was doing, as every teenager knows what they are going to do.” Life didn’t go as planned.
In her freshman year at the University of Chicago, she hit a snag. Her funding disappeared. Rowland was not able to return to college after this first year. “So now what do I do?...I had this whole life plan and now it is completely off.”
Rowland decided to fly and fight: she decided to join the AirForce. She started working in the health services administration department in Fort Dix, New Jersey. From this experience, she realized, “You can’t wait for life to fix itself or hand you something.” By having this set determination, Rowland won: she eventually met her husband and had her first child while on active duty.
Once she finished her time in the military, Rowland again fought for her future by enrolling at Central Connecticut State University. She was steadfast in becoming a teacher. However, this meant balancing a full-time job, working to earn her master's degree, and taking care of her young children at home. Nevertheless, Rowland flew through these difficulties and came out victorious.
Rowland has now been a teacher at THS for 17 years. She has taken this lesson into her new profession. She started at THS by only teaching U.S. History and American Citizenship. Wanting to teach a variety of subjects, she fought to teach new classes at THS. Now, her extensive class list includes Intro Psychology, Intro Sociology, Intro to Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, AP Psychology, and American Cit.
Rowland believes everything happens for a reason. If she had not been forced to fight for her future, she would not have chosen the Air Force, met her husband, or ended up on the teaching path.
As we finished our conversation, Rowland was happily heading out to watch her favorite hockey team with her family. She nodded, thinking back on her story, “I am where I am supposed to be.”