Principal Teresa Rose

The title may be slightly different, but a familiar face greeted students on the first day of class Monday at Kernersville Elementary School (KES). That’s because newly named Principal Teresa Rose has been embracing and encouraging students at the local school for nearly a decade.
Rose was named principal of the West Mountain Street elementary school following the announcement that her predecessor, Lora Tiano, would be retiring at the end of this past school year. Rose served as an assistant principal at KES for eight years. Her first day as principal was July 1.
Rose said she is excited to be able to continue at KES.
“I’m really excited and grateful to be able to continue to lead in this place that I love so much and want everyone in Kernersville to know that KES will continue to be the same great community school that it traditionally has been known to be,” Rose said. “We will continue to welcome the blessings of our many community partnerships and be dedicated to offering a quality education to our Wildcats while also providing them a loving, supportive environment where they can feel cared for and safe.”
Rose also noted that another familiar face at the school has a new, important position.
“We are fortunate to add a familiar face as our new assistant principal, Malinda Kerns. Not only is she a wonderful person, but she is a very capable and experienced administrator. She previously was a part-time assistant principal at KES where she showed us how capable and caring she is as a leader. We are thrilled to have her back home,” Rose said. “I also want everyone to know that I will always be available with a listening ear to stakeholders in our community that have a vested passion and interest in making sure KES remains an exceptional school.”
Rose grew up on a farm in Argyle, Texas, where “my Granny taught me to work hard, treat people with kindness, show grace and wake up each day with a grateful heart,” she said. “All of my family still lives in Texas and I go back to visit whenever I can.”
A first generation college graduate, Rose earned her bachelor of arts degree from Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas and obtained certifications in EC, elementary education and secondary math. More than a decade later, Rose received her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG).
According to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS), Rose taught math and science in Lewisville, Texas for 10 years. She began her career with WS/FCS in 2008 as a math and science teacher at Philo Magnet Academy. Before coming to KES, Rose was the curriculum coordinator at Forest Park Elementary and in 2013, she was selected by WS/FCS to participate in the Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy where she earned her master’s degree.
Why did Rose decide to go into teaching?
“I have always loved working with children. When my children were very young, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching,” Rose said. “It is hard work to be a mom, go to school and continue working, but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I always encourage adults that it is never too late to follow their dreams and pursue a career that will bring fulfillment.”
Rose said she discovered a new passion for working with students who were struggling due to barriers that life had put in their paths while teaching sixth grade math and science at Philo. It is one of the experiences that eventually led her into administration.
“I found that it was a strength of mine to break down the barriers such as poverty and environmental instability so that students could achieve academic success and have a positive school experience. After four years, my heart’s desire was drawing me to leadership so that I could impact a larger number of students. I wanted to help other teachers have the same impact on student growth as I was seeing,” Rose said.
Rose continued.
“I became a curriculum coordinator at Forest Park Elementary and with the encouragement of my principal, Constance Hash, I applied for the Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy through UNCG. I was selected to participate in this amazing leadership internship by WS/FCS. This was an incredible opportunity to be trained by numerous outstanding educational leaders from all over North Carolina while completing a one-year long principal’s internship at Kernersville Elementary,” Rose said.
“I knew right away that I had found my home at KES. Once my internship was completed, I was hired as the assistant principal and I consider it a great gift to have served in that capacity for eight years. The strong community ties and support in Kernersville reminds me of the feeling that I had in the community where I began my educational career in Texas.”
What does Rose love about education? What does she enjoy about working in administration?
“The reason education fills my heart with so much joy is because it is a field where adults are completely dedicated to a higher purpose with a mission that is focused on helping grow children into kind, productive, happy citizens that will then give back to their communities. My teacher hat is always close by because the feeling of wanting to plant seeds in our most precious treasures in order to make our world a better place is forever imprinted on my soul. I can’t even begin to imagine myself not working with children,” Rose said. “One of the things I enjoy most about being an administrator is the gratification I get out of supporting the teachers, families and other adults that are working to give our children everything they need to be successful at school and in life.
“I also enjoy creating systems and processes that I know will help our school be highly functional. I especially love the big hugs that our little Wildcats often give me as we pass in the halls, along with a big smile and a high five. My prayer each morning is that I inspire adults to be a champion for kids, create an environment at KES that nurtures and supports all stakeholders and that I make a significant positive impact on the lives of the children in my school. This is also how I determine if I was successful when I lay my head down at night.”
How would Rose describe her style as a leader?
“I consider myself a part of a greater team where no one of us is greater than all of us together. It is important to me that I listen to all perspectives and value the input of others. I believe in making decisions that always puts the students’ needs first and considers the well-being of the child’s heart as much as their mind,” Rose said. “I hold myself to a commitment to always have respectful interactions and maintain a contagious calm no matter how others are engaging. I believe it is my job to stay positive, energetic, level-headed and steadfast towards the greater mission of leading and supporting everyone to reach our goals, no matter what the circumstance.”
Rose said she is grateful for how the community supports KES.
“I love how KES is a community school that is rich with traditions. Our school would not be able to function and have the success it achieves if it weren’t for the community partners and volunteers that are dedicated to supporting our students, families and staff. I have truly never seen a village as supportive and loving as the Kernersville community,” Rose said. “The staff is a huge reason for my love for KES and for the success of our school. We historically are known for achieving excellent growth based on data, but even more importantly this champion staff is dedicated and passionate about loving each child and ensuring that their hearts and minds are growing. They are family to me and to each other in a way that is hard to explain unless you actually experience it. Last, but far from least, it is my sweet little Wildcats and their families that entrust these most precious treasures with us.”
Rose and her husband, Steve, and daughter, Andee, moved to Kernersville in 2008. Today, Andee and her husband, Trey, live in Kernersville with their children, Maleiya, 14, Bristol Kelly, 4, and Saint, 9 months. Rose also has a son, Mike, who lives in Cadillac, Michigan with his wife, Alison, and children, Dulcie, 11, and Rowan, 8.
Rose said Steve is very supportive and the pair love to travel, “whether it is in our camper or traveling abroad. We are often seen kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking or biking with our little dog Meli somewhere beautiful.”
“I try to take the path North to this part of my heart as much as possible when we’re not traveling to Texas to see family or to Hawaii to visit my husband’s family,” Rose said.
Rose also loves spending time with her grandchildren, and they with her.
“They love to spend time with their ‘BahNana’ whenever possible. Bristol will be a little Wildcat in kindergarten next year,” Rose shared.

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