After six years of loyal service to SCUSD, Superintendent Rose announces his retirement


Vincent Nguyen

Superintendent Rose will be sad to go, but happy for the new chapter of his life.

SCUSD Superintendent Stanley Rose III announced in early November that he will be retiring at the end of the 2018-19 school year, marking the conclusion of his six-year service with the district.

Though Rose said he would like to credit his successes to the SCUSD Board of Trustees as well as the local community, the district under Rose made gains in multiple areas, including STEAM education, technology and student mental health. School sites are currently in the process of construction, and some – like SCUSD’s Patrick Henry Middle School, where Rose attended – are in the process of being reopened in an effort to combat the continuous issue of rising classroom sizes. Another change Rose made is implementing free standardized testing for students, something the district would not have been able to support little over half a decade ago.

With a soon-to-be total of 46 years working in education, Rose claimed the idea of being a teacher – his first professional occupation – came to mind during an afternoon moving furniture at his father’s store when he was 16. He recalled walking down the street and turning to his father to ask him what he would be doing if he was not hauling couches.

“He said he probably would have been a teacher,” Rose said. “And it stuck with me because it was the last thing I expected him to say.”

Rose compartmentalized that conversation for years, and upon graduating from college without any idea of what he wanted to do, he decided he would attend an education school. Rose’s first job, and the one that would begin his career, was teaching middle school social studies in St. Helens, Oregon.

Rose soon returned  to the Bay Area and took up different positions at various schools. In Redwood City, Rose coached sports and became the Dean of Students. At Sacred Heart, a private school in Atherton, he took a position as a vice principal.

Rose spent five years working in the Alameda Unified School District, where the acting superintendent at the time, Alan Nishino, trained him toward becoming a superintendent. As a harsh mentor figure with good intentions, Nishino was especially difficult on Rose, who he saw potential in as a leader.

“One day, I asked him why he was so tough,” Rose said. “He said… ‘When I don’t say anything, that’s when you should be worried because that means I don’t care.’”

Rose ultimately ended up following Nishino when he moved from Alameda to Morgan Hill, becoming his assistant superintendent for the Morgan Hill Unified School District. During this time, Rose began working on his doctorate degree, and in his final stretch before reaching SCUSD in 2013, he was the San Benito High School District superintendent for seven years.

In his time working as an educator, Rose feels as though his mission has always been to give students a chance to be successful, placing an emphasis on giving youths a voice.

“In my job, the best thing you can try to do is to create the environment for people to be creative and take initiative,” Rose said. “When you have a lot of talent around you, it’s important to let people do their thing.”

Claiming that the district was nowhere near as diverse as it is now when he was growing up, Rose said he takes pride in the large variety of people who now come together to make up the Santa Clara community, almost as if a cycle has been completed.

“In one way, it happened so slowly that I didn’t realize it was happening,” Rose said. “But looking at it from either end, it’s hugely different and things are better now.”

Upon retirement, Rose said that he will be taking time to focus on his health as well as his wife’s San Jose based non-profit, Amigos de Guadalupe – an organization dedicated to providing support to families in need. In honor of Nishino, who passed a few years ago, Rose donates a scholarship in the former superintendent’s name every year to the organization’s education program.

SCUSD is currently looking for a new superintendent. As for Rose’s hopes for the next superintendent, all he wants is for the district board to select someone “they feel will lead the district in the way that they want [it] to be led,” and that his replacement will be able to reach out to the groups he might have not been able to connect with.

Rose stated that he is grateful for every student he has had the opportunity to serve, and thus, his career’s end is a bittersweet farewell for him, despite believing “you end up where you’re supposed to be, wherever that is.”

“I’ll be happy to leave, but I’ll be sad to leave, too,” Rose said. “Happy that I’m able to go into retirement, but sad that a long chapter of my life is going to be over.”