Spotlight on: Mr. Rose, English teacher

Photo by Chad McCartin

 By Carolyn Laporte

“I’m not just theater,” Hereford High School teacher Mr. Rose said to the Honors Journalism class, his wide eyes staring at each one of the students to make sure they understood.” I’m an English teacher at heart.”

Mr. Rose is by far one of Hereford High’s busiest teachers; he teaches speech and English, monitors the improv club, and is in charge of the plays and musicals. It was easy to see how busy he is because he walked into the room and said, “This will be quick, right?” For the entire interview, Mr. Rose walked back and forth between the students and was excited about everything he said, stopping only to take a sip of his coffee or listen to the next question.

Mr. Rose has been involved in theater since he was in high school. He was a straight-A student and a nerd who didn’t really have a group of friends. Then, freshman year he got pulled aside and was asked to play the piano. After that day he became involved in theater, both acting and playing the piano for his high school shows. He said that his fellow classmates were all very accepting of him and he felt like he fit in there. So he’s been doing it ever since. Rose has also performed in plays in over a hundred schools including Johns Hopkins and Harford Community College.

Mr. Rose has been a teacher at Hereford High for nine years, but he has also taught at two other schools before this. He most recently taught English and speech at Perry Hall High School from which he was “stolen” in order to teach theater, English and speech at Hereford High.

There are advantages to being involved in so many things at Hereford though. He said that even if he didn’t have auditions for a play, he would have an idea of who to cast because he knows students from all of his classes along with other students who have been in theater before.

When asked about his most interesting story involving a student, Mr. Rose told the story of when a student in one of his classes that did nothing for the first five months of his class except sit in the back and read a book about a serial killer. He never even spoke to any other students in the class. Finally, at Christmastime the class was going to do a play and Mr. Rose asked him if he wanted a part, assuming the student would say no or nothing at all, but the student said that he wanted be the father. He ended up playing that character so well that he was asked by Mr. Rose to try out for the play and he did. “Theater changed him,” Mr. Rose said as he sat back and reminisced about the student who had gone from someone no one liked to someone everyone liked to a point. “He reminds me of myself.”

If one were to walk into Mr. Rose’s classroom, one would be able to tell that he is not “just theater.” He loves to read and has many books in his classroom. It is obvious that he also loves teaching his speech and English classes because when he spoke about them, he was just as excited as about theater.  Whether it is English, speech or theater, Mr. Rose does it all- and he does it well.