Rose stands in front of his St. George home. He grew up near Bryce Canyon, but said Southern Utah will always be the community he helped educate.

Max Rose | A Lifetime of Learning

Max Rose has spent his career teaching others, but said he has never stopped learning himself.

Max grew up in small Henriville, Utah and said, like it or not that secluded community was the perfect place to foster a deep love of learning.

“There was nothing else to do but study,” Max joked.

After receiving teaching degrees, Max taught math and chemistry at then Dixie State College for 30 years. While there he was named Professor of the Year five times and recognized by the St George Area Chamber of Commerce as Educator of the Year. The awards adorn his home, but humbly, Max doesn’t consider those accolades major accomplishments. For him, the honor is helping students excel.

“It’s the daily bread that makes that job worthwhile,” Max said. “It’s really neat to see their lives change because they don’t believe in themselves in terms of academics, and you change that for them.”

In 2003, Max made a career change accepting a position as superintendent of the Washington County School District. He said the role as superintendent was a 180-degree shift. Before his focus was on dealing with students, and now his primary contact was with parents.

Rose saw the district through one of its largest growth periods. He said during the housing boom the district grew by the thousands.

“We grew an average of an elementary school a year,” said Rose.

Amid all the excitement of that growth, Max said his small town roots make it a bit sad for him, particularly to see Dixie State College transition into Dixie State University.

“It’s every dream we ever had, and I fought like crazy to get it too,” Max said. “But it’s like the loss of innocence in some ways. It’s just destined to be a 20,000 student university.”

Still, he finds joy in the fact that so many, young and old, will have access to education something that has always given him comfort. Now in his 70s, Max said he still reads a book every night before bed.

“I don’t consciously do it to try and be smarter,” Max said. “ I just read because it settles my innards. I like that feeling.”

Max was also given an honorary doctorate degree from Dixie State University for his lifetime of education. He still teaches classes there and plans to as long as he’s able.