LUSK – The Niobrara County High School Alumni Golf Tournament has chosen Randy and Debbie Rose as the 2020 honored guests.
The Rose’s have dedicated many years of service and support to the Niobrara County School District and the community of Lusk.
Randy Rose grew up in Cheyenne, where his father was the Head of the State of Wyoming Department of Buildings and Grounds. His mother was an independent oil and gas researcher. Debbie was originally from Carpenter, where her father was an agriculture teacher, and her mother taught music.
When she was 10, they moved to Cheyenne where her father worked in the State Department of Education and was later the Dean of Instruction for Laramie County Community College.
Both Debbie and Randy attended the University of Wyoming, majoring in music education. They were married after their freshman year and were hired to fill a vacant band position in Pine Bluffs for two days a week during their junior year. They graduated in the spring of 1974.
Randy took a music position in Lusk the following year, teaching bands in the grade school, middle school and high school in addition to general music in several rural schools. When he started in the fall, there were 12 students in the high school band. There was a vocal teacher who was in charge of the choirs and 1-8 general music. There were 25 in the high school choir at the beginning of the year, but they all wanted to quit at semester, so Randy was asked to take over the high school choir for the remainder of the year.
Debbie remained at UW an additional semester to study Elementary Education. In 1975, Debbie was hired for the second music position in Lusk. At that time, they were able to restructure the music positions with Randy teaching band, choir and general music at the high school and rural schools, while Debbie taught band, choir and general music for all levels K-8.
Prior to Debbie’s arrival, grade school students had music once a week. She was able to redesign the schedule to include general music classes twice a week, plus adding kindergarten, children’s choir and special education music. Randy eventually added pep band, marching band, the select choir Choralaires, a jazz band, and advanced music, which were individualized music instruction classes.
During his teaching career in Niobrara County, Randy found himself in many other areas and extracurricular activities in addition to music. These included teaching theater, TV and video production, sponsoring high school cheerleaders and the Student Council (and driving the bus to transport them to their events), coaching middle school football, and officiating girls’ and boys’ basketball games. He was assistant golf coach and later head golf coach, with thirteen conference championships, five state champion girls’ teams, and two state champion boys’ teams. He was named the 2A State Golf Coach of the Year three times.
Randy was well known throughout the state for directing “That Pep Band” that opposing coaches dreaded to have in the stands. Not only were they known for their music, but they cheered with passion and volume, even after the Niobrara County cheerleaders were a thing of the past. Playing for all sports, Randy figures he directed pep bands for more than 35 athletic events a year and 1,085 in his career.
Over the years, Debbie sponsored the middle school cheerleaders, coached several Odyssey of the Mind Teams (later called Destination Imagination), with one team going on to perform in the World Competition. She was a longtime member of the HELP Building Intervention Team and served on the District Technology Team. She served as Secondary Vice President of the Music Educators Association, as well as editor of the State Music Educator’s journal, and was named State Music Educator of the Year in 1999.
The participation and support of music continued to grow over the years and resulted in many memorable performances. At both the high school and middle school levels, the bands grew to average between 60 and 70 members, and the choirs 70 to 85, with most students participating in both ensembles.
The high school competed in state and regional events for jazz band, jazz choir, Choralaires and marching band. Their local performances included four concerts a year, with a broadway musical every other year. At the K-8 level, the middle school band and choir participated in three or four concerts a year, including a three-day clinic and concert adjudicated and directed by visiting conductors. During this clinic, there were up to 85 solos and ensembles a year adjudicated by the visiting directors, in addition to the band, choir and children’s choir. The K-5 performances included K-2 musicals directed in cooperation with the K-2 teachers and aligned with their classroom curriculum. All students K-5 performed in the Christmas program or musical, as well as the Music in Our Schools program in March. The Roses are very proud the Niobrara County School District won awards three years for the “Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America.”
After their retirement in 2006, Randy and Debbie continued to manage the Lusk Municipal Golf Course and Roses Golf Shop, a business they started in 1995 and continued until the Fall of 2013. Debbie also worked as a Genealogy/History Librarian at Niobrara County Library for 10 years after her music career. During that time, she also served as a consultant for the University of Wyoming, supervising music student teachers in northeastern Wyoming.
Currently, she is teaching private music lessons, while Randy is chairman of the Lodging Tax Board and is serving on the Niobrara County School Board. They both volunteered to help with the grade school band program this past year.
Randy’s favorite memory of teaching is the last performance of the musical Aida, when the curtain closed and everyone started crying – proud of what felt like a perfect performance, and sad this would be their last musical together. Debbie’s favorite memory was the last clinic performance, when visiting conductor Steve Grussendorf coordinated a surprise performance of “Friends are Friends Forever” that included former students, the current Middle School Choir, Children’s Choir, former student teacher and clinic band conductor Sean Ambrose, husband Randy, and daughter Jeanna, who was holding their young grandson Camden.
When asked about what they enjoy most about retirement, the Roses said they enjoy the flexibility to be able to travel, especially when it includes watching their grandchildren in music and sporting events.
Their three children are all teaching in Wyoming, Chad teaching band and choir in Worland, Brent teaching band at Kelly Walsh in Casper, and Jeanna teaching Special Education in Gillette. They have seven grandchildren, ages 7-16.
The 5th annual NCHS Alumni Golf Tournament will be held June 26 at the Lusk Golf Course.
This year’s tournament will host 36 three-person teams. The tournament will have an 8 a.m., flight and an afternoon flight starting at approximately 1:30 p.m., with 18 teams per flight. This tournament will be a handicapped scramble.
Similar to last year, all proceeds will be donated to benefit students/graduates of Niobrara County High School.
There are still team slots available. If you are interested in making a cash donation, donating an item for the door prize drawings, volunteering the day of the tournament, or entering a team, please contact one of the board members. Contributions can be mailed to PO Box 691, Lusk, 82225, or via PayPal using our email address [email protected] .
The NCHS Alumni Golf Tournament Board of Directors hope that past alumni will help make this event great through donations and participation. Any question regarding this event or to participate, please send an email to [email protected]