After 35 Years of Dedication, Mr. Stowe Retires

Photo courtesy of The Archives

Students crowd around Mr. Stowe as he demonstrates a concept.

In his 35th year at Choate, Mr. Lawrence Stowe, a physics teacher and archery coach, is retiring. He has contributed immensely to the Choate community and influenced the lives of those around him, Mr. Stowe will be missed by everybody he has crossed paths with here.

Mr. Stowe received his bachelor’s degree in physics and philosophy at Yale University. He went to graduate school at the University of Chicago and received a PhD in biology, specializing in plant ecology. Afterwards, Mr. Stowe taught in the botany department at the University of Massachusetts. Although he enjoyed his experience there, the research aspect of his job never appealed to him as much as teaching did.

Mr. Stowe’s first full-time teaching position was in Ecuador. After marrying his wife, he taught biology, physics, and several math courses at an American high school for a year.

In 1982, Mr. Stowe joined the Choate community. Shortly after, he and his wife had two sons: Andrew Stowe ’01, and Ed Stowe ’03. He said, “Choate proved itself to be a great place to raise a family.”

Mr. Stowe has demonstrated a love for the topics he teaches. Sarah Koljaka ’19, a current member of Mr. Stowe’s AP Physics class, said, “Mr. Stowe’s clear explanations, patience in explaining difficult concepts, and challenging yet fun coursework in freshman physics gave me the passion, confidence, and knowledge I needed to pursue more advanced studies in physics.” She continued, “His humor, personality, and commitment to his students have made him one of my favorite teachers.”

During his time at Choate, Mr. Stowe has held many roles on campus and also began one of Choate’s most famous long-lasting traditions: the annual Physics Flotilla. In his early years, Mr. Stowe did teach some chemistry sections along with physics, but because of his strong passion for the latter, he gradually transitioned into becoming solely a physics teacher. Mr. Stowe added, “I love the logic and the problem-oriented nature of the course over the more factual things in chemistry and biology. In physics, you don’t have to know many facts. It’s mainly the logic and understanding how to apply a fairly small number of equations to lots of situations.”

Mr. Stowe has coached intramural tennis and swimming and still coaches interscholastic archery. Additionally, for five years, Mr. Stowe was the Science Department Head. He said, “Interacting with terrific students, trying to challenge them, getting them to enjoy physics and appreciate it as a science has been really satisfying.”

After retiring, Mr. Stowe will stay in Wallingford with his wife. He will continue to do workshops in physics with College Board. In addition, he may teach at a community college. Aside from science, he would like to do more gardening and hiking, and potentially volunteer at the local senior center, hospital, and parks. He will also continue singing in his church’s choir.

Above all, many will long remember Mr. Stowe  for his contributions to the Choate community in physics, athletics, and many other areas. His passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for physics have created an extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable learning environment in his classrooms. Although Mr. Stowe will retire from his teaching position, his impact on the community will have its lasting mark.

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