Rowh to be receive LMC Service Award

As the saying goes, "An act of kindness goes a long way". With that said it is understandable why Jay Rowh will be receiving the Leadership Mitchell County Community Service Award during the banquet at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. The event will take place at the North Central Kansas Technical College and will honor Rowh as this years recipient. 

Reservations can be made at the banks within Beloit and at Frasier, Johnson and Martin, LLC for $20 per person by July 20. An honorarium will be awarded to Rowh which he has chosen to use for the Mitchell County Historical Society, Solomon Valley Transportation and the Waconda Cultural Association. 

Rowh has been doing random acts of kindness throughout his life in Beloit and in a very humble way. When he learned about receiving this years honor during the Beloit Relays track event this May, that humbleness came through as he said he was embarrassed because, in his words, "There are so many people in Beloit that deserve the same recognition." 

"I was totally surprised at the track meet," said Rowh. "Small towns have to survive through volunteering. There are so many that volunteer and do unselfishly. I always volunteer because it needs to be done and I am willing to do it. I am honored and humbled with this award, but there are so many that are also qualified."

Since moving to Beloit, Rowh has represented his town in numerous ways from serving for organizations, teaching and coaching and has been a positive role model for anyone around him.

His involvement in the community speaks well of him alone, as he serves as a member of and or volunteers for:  the Solomon Valley Transportation Board and part-time volunteer driver especially for the Senior Meeting throughout the area, President of the Silver-Haired Legislature, Area Agency on Aging – Mitchell County Representative to the Kansas Department of Transportation Older Drivers Task Force, Beloit Senior Center board member, Mitchell County Counsel on Aging current Chairman, Beloit Country Club board member, Lions Club member and the recent Waconda Cultural Association.

Rowh came to Beloit in 1969 and started teaching as a Geometry, Algebra I and General Math instructor. He always liked math and decided to major in math education because he wanted to coach as well.  " I like history too," said Rowh, but I thought there would probably be more opportunities in the math department."

Rowh has been teaching and coaching for thirty years and has been able to experience some of his students, not only on the turf, court, cinder and desks but also has fellow teachers that have returned to Beloit to start their own families.

Rowh and his wife Rita of 49 years as of July 19, have three boys and now wives and/or girlfriends, Grant and Melissa from St. Paul, Minn., Brett and girlfriend Jessica from Stillwater, Okla., and Greg and Melissa from Beloit.

Jay Rowh was assistant boys' basketball coach from 1969 until 1976 and then became head coach.  The 76-77 team produced the best record in over 12 years at 15-8.  The following year the 77-78 team won the sub-state championship and advanced to the state tournament for the first time in over 14 years.  He was assistant football and track coach for 10 years.  The only girls' sport offered at the time was track.

After 10 years, Rowh and his family moved to Norton where he went into the car implement business to run Rowh Motors, a GM vehicle and International farm Implement dealership for six years.

The move back for the Rowhs' added to many more memorable events in his life.

With eight state titles under his belt in football, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1996 and in track, 1995, 1997, 2003 and 2006 Rowh said they were very memorable and all very special events. "The 1996 state football was probably the most memorable because my son, Brett was a team member, which made it even more special, said Rowh"

Rowh was assistant varsity football coach for 25 years, not consecutively, varsity boys' basketball for two years assistant 13 years, not consecutively, varsity girls' basketball for eight years, assistant for five years, not consecutively.  Assistant high school track for 27 years, not consecutively.

"Teaching wise, a highlight was having five students from Beloit High school all majoring in engineering, graduate from K-State during the same ceremony", said Rowh.  "That is why I taught."  he said, "Anytime you have your students come back and tell you how great an education is and how they have been affected by high school, it makes it motivating. That is the most gratifying highlight of my career."

Some of the those former students and athletes who have came back and roamed the halls of BHS  are Dallas Cox, Ryan Isbell, Brennan (Cousland) Eilert, Brandy (Lopez) Paul, Sylvia Ludwig, Leah (Christians) Johnson, Heather (Heidrick) Johnson, Casey Seyfert, Ryan Eilert, Eric Lampert.

"Kids keep you young, or you get run over," laughed Rowh, "They motivate you from within because you don't want to let them down just as much as you don't want them to let you down."

"I came back to Beloit in August of 1985 because I missed working with the kids and that is what I missed the most when I retired in 2009 as well," said Rowh.

After retiring, Rowh continued as athletic trainer for five more years, and as the home-bound instructor for eight years. He has continued as part of the Beloit Relays for 44 years since 1969 as the head timer, except for 1980-1985. With the addition of the fully automated timing system (FAT), Rowh now serves as the backup timer. He also serves as the PA announcer for either football, basketball games or the  regional track meet whenever the regular announcer is unable to attend.  Rowh has been able to use that statistician ability on the radio as he started announcing on KVSV radio since 1996 and fills in when he is asked.  He had done some sideline and booth work, as he enjoyed seeing competition and watching the kids do well.

Rowh is not only known for his numerous volunteering activities in Beloit but also for his smiles and his all around positive attitude that he shares with others.

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