The Lamplighter School honored Catherine M. Rose as the 2019 Spirit Award recipient during the Spirit Award Luncheon on Friday, February 22, an annual event held on the school’s campus. This award follows an announcement last year that the Lamplighter Board of Trustees passed a resolution to recognize Mrs. Rose’s extraordinary service to the School by establishing the named position Catherine M. Rose Head of School as a way to honor her longtime commitment and impactful work.
The Spirit Award, established in 2003 during The Lamplighter School’s 50th anniversary, is presented by the Alumni Association and given to an individual or group that embodies the spirit of Lamplighter. The recipient is selected annually by the members of the Alumni Association and must have the qualities of a lifelong learner, be willing to take risks, and display creativity in his or her work. Dr. Joan Buchanan Hill, Catherine M. Rose Head of School, shared, “Catherine Rose truly exemplifies Lamplighter spirit. She possesses the unique ability to see what is possible with endless optimism. It takes someone with a creative perspective to reach beyond what is comfortable and stretch. This is the way that she lives her life and encourages that spirit in others as well.”
During the Spirit Award Luncheon, Mrs. Rose was introduced by Alex Sharma, former Lamplighter Board Chair and current Board Chair of Family Gateway and KIPP DFW Public Charter Schools, who described Rose as “one of the leading lights of this enormous city,” and one who leads with such “remarkable humility, humor, and grace.” Moreover, Sharma noted that “every cause and institution she is involved with is made better by her deep commitment, fierce intelligence, tireless efforts, and unwavering goodwill.”
Mrs. Rose accepted the Spirit Award with heartfelt remarks about her passion for and love of Lamplighter, recalling the valuable education and cherished experiences that the School has provided for her whole family. Although Mrs. Rose did not attend Lamplighter as a child, her husband, Will Rose ’77, and three sons, Alex Rose ’10, Charlie Rose ’12, and Jack Rose ’13, all attended the School. During her remarks, Mrs. Rose noted, “Will and I are grateful for what Lamplighter gave our children – a sense of joy, the ability to be a good friend, the confidence to learn in the classroom, and a solid foundation in lifelong learning.” In addition, she shared how the School impacted her personally, noting, “I am also grateful for the experience Lamplighter gave me in learning how to be a better parent, a better friend, and how to work in the service of a mission.”
Mrs. Rose served on the Lamplighter Board of Trustees for ten years from 2007 – 2017, including leadership as Board Chair from 2014 – 2016 and Vice Chair from 2012 – 2014. As a Lamplighter trustee, she also served as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee which culminated in the School’s most recent campus master planning and enhancements: the Eastin Family Innovation Lab and the Lamplighter Parents’ Association (LPA) Barn. Throughout her service as trustee, Mrs. Rose was actively involved in campaign planning, fundraising, branding, and marketing efforts. As a parent to three now Lamplighter graduates, she was also active in the LPA, serving in several leadership and volunteer roles. Mrs. Rose has devoted countless hours working on behalf of Lamplighter as a parent, alumni parent, and trustee of the School.
Beyond her service to Lamplighter, Mrs. Rose is deeply committed to early childhood education and education reform efforts in Dallas. She led the initiative to raise startup funding for one of the first charter schools to open in Dallas, Lindsley Park Community School, and served on the Board of Directors of East Dallas Community School for more than ten years. Mrs. Rose is the 2018-2019 President of the Dallas Museum of Art Board of Trustees, as well as the current Board Chair for Teach for America’s Dallas-Fort Worth Advisory Board.