Cold Spring Elementary 3rd grade teacher and ROCORI football coach Mike Rowe was named the ROCORI District's teacher of the year Wednesday night. Rowe has taught at Cold Spring Elementary for five years and has taught for ten years in total.

Someone nominated Rowe as teacher of the year in advance of a banquet, at which Rowe happened to be the emcee.

"They play a video during the banquet, at the end of which they made the announcement as far as who won," Rowe said. "I was shocked (that I won) because there were a lot of good candidates and there are a lot of great teachers in our district."

"My wife knew for, like, three weeks," Rowe added. "She did a really good job of keeping the secret from me."

Rowe said he is pleased to be honored for his work with the kids in school as opposed to his achievements on the football field.

"You get recognition through athletics a lot, but for the teaching end it doesn't normally happen all that much," Rowe said. "I was very happy to get the award."

Rowe said his philosophy for teaching is similar to his philosophy on coaching.

"I just want kids to have fun while they learn, play hard, practice and work hard every day," Rowe said. "If they can do those things they will usually be successful."

Rowe is very active on social media (@CoachMikeRowe on Twitter), sharing scenes from both the classroom and the football field.

"I think it's important to tell your own story," Rowe said. "If you don't tell your story someone else will, and you want to paint the true impression of what your classroom is like."

"You want to be showing the outside world what you are doing, what is maybe different or new, and other teachers can steal your ideas," Rowe said. "There are a lot of teachers that share what they do, and when you find an idea, like in coaching you steal  it and use it and make it your own."