Meet Ambassador Keith: Q & A with Nebraska Loves Public Schools

Meet Ambassador Keith: Q & A with Nebraska Loves Public Schools

NCSA Ambassador Keith Rowher

Nebraska Loves Public Schools is dedicated to supporting public education one documentary film at a time. Nebraska Loves Public Schools will work closely with NCSA, its Ambassadors and the NPSA to increase the collective coverage of positive public school stories happening throughout the school year.


Nebraska Loves Public Schools asked each of the three NCSA Ambassadors to tell us more about their experience in public education and why this role will be so crucial to spreading the success stories of our schools. Here’s what we learned from Ambassador Keith Rohwer. Follow him online @NCSAKeith. For the original story, click here.

NELOVESPS: Tell us a little about yourself. What drew you to public education and what keeps drawing you back in?

I grew up on a farm in Saunders County.  We were very active in church, softball and 4-H.  My parents always encouraged my brother Ken and I to obtain a college education.  My mom was a teacher with a two year degree from Luther College in Wahoo.  Ken was a math teacher and coach in Blair for his entire career.  He was very influential in helping me make a decision to go into education.  In my 42 years of being in this business, the kids we see each day are the biggest “draw” in our career of education. Each day in education is new and unique.  Knowing that no two days are alike gives you the energy and commitment to continue in this career.

NELOVESPS: Before you became an NCSA Ambassador, what was your role in education in Nebraska?

Rohwer: I began my career in education as a sixth grade teacher in the Fremont Public Schools in the fall of 1973.  I spent 20 years in the Fremont Schools and worked as a Classroom Teacher, an Elementary Principal and as an Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education.  I had the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent of Schools in Nebraska City from 1993 to 2008.

In 2008, I accepted the role of Department Chair of the Education Department at Midland University.  I left that position in the spring of 2014.  I recently served as the Interim CEO for the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.  I have been doing some consultation and facilitation work with a number of school districts and organizations.

NELOVESPS: What are you looking forward to most as an NCSA Ambassador?

Rohwer: The most exciting part about this new position as an NCSA Ambassador is the opportunity to promote all of the wonderful and exciting opportunities that are being afforded to kids in the public schools around the state.

NELOVESPS: What’s the biggest issue facing Nebraska public schools?

Rohwer: The biggest issue facing Nebraska public schools is the continuing challenge to meet the needs of all students.  Contained in the issue of meeting student needs is the implementation of a broad K-12 articulated curriculum, student language challenges, student learning disabilities, student physical disabilities, student assessment requirements, student poverty and school funding.

NELOVESPS: What do you wish the average citizen knew about public schools here?

Rohwer: The average citizen needs to have a better understanding of the complexity of what we do each and every day in school.  It is so much more than teaching a set curriculum.  We provide breakfast, lunch, summer meals, nursing services, counseling services, behavior modification, parent education, career education, summer school, high ability challenge classes, dual credit courses, athletics, fine arts and personal support for each and every student.

NELOVESPS: What’s your hope for the future of public schools in Nebraska?

Rohwer: Our focus needs to be on kids and their specific needs.  My hope is that we can find common ground to address the existing key educational issues in Nebraska.  I believe that collaboration and cooperation between all schools in Nebraska is the best way find this common ground.  A united force to support education in Nebraska is the best way to meet the needs of our students. We know more about teaching and learning today than at any time in history.  We need to focus that knowledge on kids each and every day in our classrooms.