Rowena Coates, a third-grade teacher at Conway Elementary School, received the May 2013 Excellence in Education award at the May 27, 2013 Board of Education meeting.
Rowena is a 1991 graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School. Her bachelor’s degree is in Architecture from Washington University, and her first career was as an architect. However, she then earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri in Columbia, and started her teaching career in the Ladue School District as a teacher’s assistant at Conway in 1999.
Rowena was a third-grade teacher until 2004 and then spent a couple years at home being with her two daughters who are now students at Conway Elementary School. Shelby is now in third grade, and Riley is now in first grade. Rowena came back to the district in 2007, spending one year as a fourth-grade teacher before becoming a third-grade teacher again the following year.
Among the many things her principal, Dr. Lane Narvaez, admires about Rowena is her flexibility and her ability to be a team player. When Conway needed a fourth-grade teacher, Rowena eagerly accepted the challenge of a new curriculum. Then, when she was asked to go back to third-grade, she willingly volunteered to move, having already had experience in teaching that grade.
Rowena is noted for her strong work ethic and true passion for working with children. Dr. Narvaez says, “We are very, very fortunate to have Rowena, as well as her two wonderful daughters, at Conway Elementary School.”