Pebble Creek resident Adam Rowan was one of King High’s top students.

As Pebble Creek resident Adam Rowan graduates from the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at King High on N. 56th St. in Tampa, he has a long list of accolades.

National Merit Scholarship Finalist.

National Hispanic Scholar.

Captain of the King soccer team.

Co-captain of the school’s tennis team.

Perfect score (36 out of 36) on the ACT.

Even with all of these accomplishments, the thing Rowan he says he’s most proud of is his role as the event lead for his school’s 2019 Relay For Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society, which he says, “raised just shy of $70,000 and had 500 students participating.”

Back when Rowan chose to go to the IB program at King, his dad, Mike Rowan, was the principal there.

“Him being there was a reason for me not to go there,” says Adam, “rather than a reason to go.”

Just about the time Rowan got used to seeing his dad walking the halls of his high school, his father became the principal at New Tampa’s Wharton High, just a quick ride from their Pebble Creek home.

Adam says it was an adjustment having his dad at a different school, but that he never reconsidered his decision to attend the King IB program.

“At that point, I was committed to the IB program and had done too much work to drop out,” he says.

However, Adam concedes he got the short end of the stick on commute times.

“I was leaving before him to drive to school, but he had to be at school before me,” he says. “I felt like I was getting no sleep compared to him.”

The lack of sleep and dedication to academics, sports and community service paid off when Rowan was accepted to prestigious Columbia University in New York City.

He says he toured the campus twice prior to applying and loved the feeling of it, the fact that it’s located in New York City, and that its Ivy League status means the curriculum will be rigorous.

“I liked being there,” he says. “I got a good vibe.”

That good vibe was so strong that he applied for early admission at Columbia. When he was accepted last fall, his decision to attend was binding and he had to decline his acceptance to University of South Florida and rescind the application he had submitted to the University of Florida. 

He knew he didn’t want to go anywhere else.

Now, Rowan hopes he’ll be able to be on campus at Columbia in the fall. He thinks he’ll study political science, but also says he might change his mind before he’s required to declare a major his sophomore year.

While he won’t be playing any NCAA sports, Rowan says he can’t imagine life without soccer — he is a defender/midfielder and last year helped King to a 13-6-5 record in Class 5A — and is hoping to play on an intramural team at Columbia.

That, of course, is contingent on intramural sports being offered, and the Columbia campus being re-opened for in-person classes.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to go yet,” Rowan says. He is currently awaiting the official plan for reopening the campus, which is expected to be released on July 1.

As he makes plans to attend college in the heart of a city that has been so harshly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Rowan  says he’s not too worried.

“I’m a little nervous, but I feel like going to college up there, or even if I went to college here in Florida, it’s still a risk,” he says. “I won’t let it stop me.”

Clark Gets New Principal

Delilah Rabeiro was named the new principal at Clark Elementary in West Meadows, replacing Paulette English, who moved to Pride Elementary in K-Bar Ranch earlier this school year.

Rabeiro’s appointment was approved at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting on June 9 and becomes effective on July 1. She was one of 34 principals given new assignments by new Hillsborough Superintendant of Schools Addison Davis.

Rabeiro was most recently the principal at Robles Elementary on E. Sligh Ave. in N. Tampa.

Cotey Repeats As Champ!

Jonathon Cotey, who attends Middleton High but lives in New Tampa, recently won the first-ever  ESports District Championship hosted by Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS).

The 16-player Super Smash Bros. tournament, completed online due to Covid-19, was the culmination of a year-long season in which players from nearly 20 high schools competed against each other at neutral sites. 

Cotey, who plays under the gaming tag BionicLettuce and was seeded No. 2, defeated top-seeded Nicholas Eisman (Nerva) of Plant High 3-2 in the best of five series, despite dropping the first two games.

“This has been a work in progress for five years,” said Robert Dodson, ESports Club Sponsor at Middleton High. “If it was this popular during quarantine, I can’t wait to see how big this can become in the future.”

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