Teacher Interview: Mr. Rose

Mr. Rose is our very fun social studies teacher here at NDA. He teaches, AP US Government and politics, US History, and Economics. At Notre Dame, he is most notorious for his goofy personality, especially during spirit weeks. However, many students also comment on how helpful of a teacher he is. One thing many students remember from his class is starting every class with the “Serenity Prayer”. Let’s get to know him!

Throughout his 38 years in education, Mr. Rose has taught in many places, including outside of the United States. After college, he started teaching at NDA in the history department and remained here for 8 years. Then, for 26 years, Mr. Rose taught at various places in Massachusetts including Sacred Heart and some public schools. One school that he remembers the most is one that was filled with troubled students. There, he taught students who had behavioral issues and some who had a criminal record. He spoke of how he never knew what to expect with the students and how they may act. Mr. Rose also mentioned that he saw so much potential in the students because they were so smart but unfortunately didn’t have the advantages that we are so fortunate to have. Continuing his path of education in less privileged areas, Mr. Rose also taught girls in Kenya. Five years ago, Mr. Rose saw one last opportunity to return to NDA, and he took it.

When I asked Mr. Rose if he could point out the differences between NDA in the 1980s and NDA now, he noted that he sees many mother-daughter connections. He also pointed out the many updates in technology, courses, and activities. Finally, he said that he noticed that “students seem more stressed today” as a result of the social pressure to do more activities. That is something I think we can all agree with.

Mr. Rose attributes his interest in education to a very historical event: “I had seen the before and after of Title IX, and I was a huge advocate of girls’ empowerment in education.” Mr. Rose also grew up with four sisters, so he was able to personally experience the lack of equality in education. When I asked him if he thought that led him to an all-girls school, he said that he wasn’t expecting to end up teaching at one like NDA. Well, we love having him at our school.

In high school, Mr. Rose said that he was relatively normal. However, his friends would consider him a little bit quirky. Although he claimed he couldn’t remember his high school years that well, he was able to recall a few parts. Math was Mr. Rose’s best subject, but history and world affairs always interested him. One of his main activities was running track and cross country. His best events were ones involving long distance. For many years, Mr. Rose was a member of drum and bugle corps where he played a special type of bugle horn. He competed nationally and marched in many parades across the United States. In his earlier years, Mr. Rose played baseball and hockey but shifted his focus to running.

At Bates College in Maine, Mr. Rose majored in social studies. He spoke of the huge impact that one of his Freshman history professors had on him, and he said that he wished to have a similar impact on his students. During this time, Mr. Rose continued to run long distance. He started running marathons and as of now, has ran about 15-20 marathons. One of his biggest goals at the time was to qualify for the Olympic tryouts. His favorite part about running was the competition both against other athletes and himself: “I always tried to run faster than I did the day before.”

Outside of school, Mr. Rose loves to read. However, he said that during the school year, he doesn’t have as much time, so he takes advantage of it during the summer. He always keeps up with the current events as he is subscribed to three newspapers. Aside from historical nonfiction, Mr. Rose also enjoys reading about economics and recommended the book “The Tipping Point” which is about demographics.

One of Mr. Rose’s biggest passions is working with a non-profit organization to help children and widows in Africa. He credits his parents for introducing the idea to him: “For twenty years, my parents would set aside extra money until they spent it to help build a church and school in Africa. They also grew up in the Great Depression, so they were big proponents of education.” He draws inspiration from their altruism and enjoys following in their footsteps. Currently, this non-profit is working on building an orphanage, a medical clinic, and a water well. In addition, they teach widows survival skills so that they can have a sense of security on their own. It was a Kenyan priest that had offered Mr. Rose the position to teach in Africa.

Though it was difficult to choose, Mr. Rose said that if live in a different time period, he would choose the 1920s or 1950s. He finds the juxtaposition between the conservative politics and liberal culture of those times, fascinating. His favorite events in history are the civil rights and civil liberties court cases because he loves “watching the progression in society”. He also enjoys reading about the Cold War, especially events relating to Latin America.

From his history here at NDA, Mr. Rose couldn’t easily choose a favorite memory. He started by saying, “There are so many good things at NDA.” However, he did reminisce about Heritage Day in the 80s and how “crazy” it was. He described the fun festivities such as the walk-a-thon during that day of celebration. To this day, Mr. Rose still loves Heritage Day and the energy that surrounds it.

For all the NDA student body, Mr. Rose leaves you all with some advice: “Whatever walk in life you take, remember the person you’re working with is a human being.”

Thank you for being such a unique member of our community, Mr. Rose!