June 16, 2010 - After 36 years of instructing the young minds of Oxford High School students, Bud Rowley will be retiring from teaching at the end of the year.
Even though he is retiring from teaching, football fans do not have to worry about the search for a new coach because Rowley will still be manning the sidelines as head coach of the varsity team.
"I have been a very fortunate person," said Rowley. "I have gotten to teach in high school, got to coach and gotten to be with kids everyday."
He added that Oxford was an outstanding community and that it was comprised of outstanding families, teachers and administrators. "It has been an outstanding experience," Rowley said.
Over the years, Rowley has taught woodshop, small engine, plastics, drafting, metal shop, physical education and health.
One of the things that Rowley is going to miss is the daily interaction with the students.
"I'm going to miss the everyday routine of getting them in their squads, giving them an assignment, starting a hockey, baseball or softball unit and world championship volleyball on Fridays," he said.
For Rowley, teaching was all about one thing. "It's all about the kids. You are a teacher because you love kids and like being around them," he said.
Rowley indicated that his favorite memories revolve around seeing his students grow and mature from the time they enter as freshman until they graduate as seniors.
"It feels good when you see the kids mature and figure out what they are doing in shop class and what you are doing in health class and when they do a great job in the activity you are doing in PE class," he said.
"You see them mature and grow and that's what makes you feel good about yourself. The kids are learning, they are growing and becoming young adults," he added.
Rowley said that if it wasn't for his college football coach, he never would have gone into teaching.
He told this reporter that when he met with his coach to go over his schedule, his coach encouraged him to go into education.
Since then, he grew to love every day he spent in the classroom at Oxford.
"I got the best job in the world and I tell people that everyday. I love coming here and I love what I do," he said.
When asked to give some words of advice to incoming teachers, Rowley said that they needed to have a big heart for the students.
"You have to have great concern for the kids and you want to see them learn and succeed," he said.
Even though he will not be in the classroom, Rowley still plans on having a presence within the school.
He would like to become a paraprofessional and help out with the school breakfasts and lunches and still plans on being in the weight room before school and be around after school.
"I didn't really retire. I just had a job change," he said.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.