BP’s Rose retires after 32 years
Bethel Park School Board Vice President Dick Rose has a standard line he uses when attempting to recruit new school board members.
“I tell them ‘It’s OK, it’s only two meetings a month,’” he joked.
Rose, who is retiring next month after 32 years on the board, knows the truth about the dedication – and meetings – involved in being a school board member.
Among his many responsibilities as a member of the Bethel Park board, Rose served as the district’s representative to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and, in 1995, he was president of that association.
In addition, he served on the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System Board.
Rose was also a member of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of Directors from 1983 to 2012. He served as president of that board from 1999 to 2001 and served three years, most recently 2008 to 2009, as vice president.
He was also first president of the Allegheny County Head Start Governing Body and was a member of that body from 2002 to 2012.
The very active, dedicated and involved school board member served on the ASSET (Achieving Student Success through Excellent Teaching) Board. The group helped start the hands-on-science program that is now used throughout the state.
During his tenure on the Bethel Park School Board, Rose has served several terms as president and as vice president. His current term as vice president began in 2008.
“Dick Rose has dedicated his life to public service through the many boards he’s served,” said Bethel Park Superintendent Nancy Aloi Rose. “His wisdom, experience and no-nonsense approach guided many important board decisions. On a personal note, he has been a great mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed.”
It was a school board’s decision, more than 30 years ago, to close a neighborhood school that got Rose involved with the school board.
“I thought that was a bad blunder to do that, in August,” Rose said. “I thought (the board) needed to be more transparent and needed to plan better.”
Rose stayed on the board because “there was always something more to do.”
The soon-to-be retired school director laughed at the irony of having served on a committee that recommended a single building high school and, then, more than 30 years later being a member of the board that got that school built.
“It’s all about making things better (for the students),” Rose said. “That’s why we’re there.”
Making things better for not only Bethel Park students, but for all students throughout the county and the state, has been his focus.
Rose said his proudest achievement while on the board was making sure that Pathfinder School will stay open and will continue to be there to educate students with special needs.
“There’s no end to the contract,” said Rose. “The school will be there for those kids that really need it.”
There is however, an end to Rose’s time on the school board.
His decision not to run for another term was based on his desire to spend more time with his family, Rose said.
“It’s time for some young people,” said Rose, who will celebrate his 80th birthday this month.
Shirley, Rose’s wife of 60 years, said that even though her husband is retiring from the school board, he will not be withdrawing from community service.
The couple plan to continue to be involved with their church, she said.
As for all the time her husband spent working for the school district, and all the hours he has been away from home attending meetings the last 32 years, Shirley Rose said, “I’m happy he was able to do it.”
One of the organizations Rose, who retired from PPG in 1995, plans to continue working with is the Pennsylvania Foundation For Free Enterprise Education. The foundation sponsors an annual summer event during which students learn and compete.
“I’m very dedicated (to the organization),” he said, adding that he plans to continue to attend the event and to judge competitions.
“Free enterprise is what this country is really about,” said Rose “It’s not a shame to make a profit.”
Rose had only good things to say about the district’s staff and administration, and his fellow board members.
“We were really blessed,” he said.
The board will miss Rose’s dedication and experience, his colleagues said.
“I will be forever grateful for all that Dick has done for our board, our school district and our community,” said board President Donna Cook. “He has truly served as the utmost role model of what a school director should be. I am most happy to call him a mentor and a friend, and I wish he and his wife, Shirley, all the best as he retires from public service.”