Tony Rose, 40, is making his first run for elected office. He’s a 1987 graduate of Western Alamance High School and a 1990 graduate of DeVry University with a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering. He has been married to Audrey James Rose for 18 years. They have two daughters, Autumn, 13, and Brynna, 6. Both attend schools in the Alamance-Burlington system. His mother, Virginia Rose, taught at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary for 31 years. His father, Glenn Rose, taught high school math for six years and trained local school bus drivers for 26 years. He is active at Agape Baptist Church in Mebane, volunteers in the local schools as a computer lab helper and in other roles and served on the board of Hope’s House, a ministry to assist pregnant teens. He has 20 years of experience as an IT professional, including 11 years as assistant director of information systems and technology at Elon University.
What skills, knowledge or perspective do you have to offer as a member of the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education?
My perspective comes from being a father of two children in the Alamance-Burlington School System, from being an ABSS graduate, and from growing up watching my mother’s joy of teaching in Alamance County Schools. Additionally, I have been an information technology professional for 20 years and will bring my technical knowledge and skills to the board.
What does the Alamance-Burlington School System most need to focus on during the next few years, and what strategy or strategies should it use?
Our school system needs a long-range plan if we are going to continue to improve. ABSS can develop such a plan by working with parents, teachers, and other local leaders by establishing goals that provide all students with a quality education and the opportunity for success. Specific needs like teacher retention, graduate/dropout rate improvement, foreign languages, facilities, safety, and budget, can only be successful with leaders who can establish a successful vision for the future.
Are there changes you believe need to be made in education locally, statewide or nationally?
I believe the most important function of a school system takes place in the classroom: teaching children. Its resources should be used primarily to enhance the teaching and learning experience inside the classroom. It is imperative that national and state agencies return decision-making power to local school systems in order to free our teachers from regulatory burdens that stifle their teaching talents. I vow to work hard for such changes.
Burlington Times-News Questionnaire: October 25th, October 26th, October 27th, October 28th, and October 29th, 2010
Tony Rose of Burlington has worked for accounting and insurance companies and in the computer and networking field and is now an assistant director of Information Systems & Technology at Elon University. He and his wife, Audrey James Rose, have two daughters.
What experience and qualifications would you bring to the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education that would benefit the school system?
My perspective comes from being a father of children attending ABSS schools and from being an ABSS graduate. Growing up watching my mother, Virginia Rose, teach in ABSS Schools, as well as watching my father, Glenn Rose, train school bus drivers in ABSS, I have a unique perspective from both teachers and staff. Additionally, I have been an information technology professional for 20 years and will bring my technical knowledge and skills to the board.
Do you believe the school system should pursue plans for a new high school? What, if any, other major facility needs does the system have?
I am advocating for the creation of a strategic long-range plan for ABSS. A successful plan of this nature will improve our community’s educational standing, resulting in businesses being attracted to our community and more students enrolling in our schools. Since most of our high schools are currently at or exceeding capacity, a successful long-range plan must take this growth into consideration, accommodating for expansion of existing infrastructures and for any creation of new ones.
How well do you believe the current school board does its job? Are there areas where you believe the board should do things differently?
Recently ABSS has done well in incrementally raising test scores and the graduation rate, as well as lowering the drop-out rate. I believe the biggest concern for our school system should be what takes place in the classroom: teaching and learning. Priorities should be adjusted where necessary so that our resource usage demonstrates that the classroom is our most important focus.
How well do you believe the school system uses its resources?
Our top priority should be to ensure that our classrooms are adequately supplied with the necessary resources for teachers to do their best in educating our children. I am concerned about the lack of resources available to our teachers in the areas of classroom supplies, technology, and facility inadequacies. In our strained economy we should be good stewards of the money received so that these needs are met more efficiently.
What additional courses of study or programs would you like to see made available to students?
In this 21st century our graduates will be faced with competing in an emerging global economy. Therefore economics, real-world financial management, and foreign languages are necessary areas of focus our students need in order to be successful. Additionally, students who will not be seeking higher education after high school should have trade-oriented programs of study available to them which adequately prepare them to immediately enter the workforce.