Debra Rose

Database Administrator
High School Psychology Teacher


B.A., Zoology; University of California, Berkeley, CA
M.A., Counseling Psychology; Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA
M.S., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; University of California, Irvine
Teacher since 1984

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

Since 2006.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

Working at Oak Grove School gives me the opportunity to use my skills and experience in service to a greater good. I hope I am making a contribution to the education of young people.

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

A quote from On Education by J. Krishnamurti:

“A human being is a true human being when the scientific spirit and the true religious spirit go together. Then human beings will create a good world — not the world of the communist or the capitalist, of Brahmins, or of Roman Catholics. In fact the true Brahmin is the person who does not belong to any religious creed, has no class, no authority, no position in society. He is the true Brahmin, the new human being, who combines both the scientific and the religious mind, and therefore is harmonious without any contradiction within himself. And I think the purpose of education is to create this new mind, which is explosive, and does not conform to a pattern which society has set.

“… It is extraordinarily difficult to be religious and to have a clear and precise, scientific mind, to have a mind that is not afraid, that is unconcerned with its own security, its own fears. You cannot have a religious mind without knowing yourself, without knowing all about yourself — your body, your mind, your emotions, how the mind works, how thought functions. And to go beyond all that, to uncover all that, you must approach it with a scientific mind which is precise, clear, unprejudiced, which does not condemn, which observes, which sees. When you have such a mind you are really a cultured human being, a human being who knows compassion. Such a human being knows what it is to be alive.”

Coffee or Tea?

Skim milk.

What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

Once I did a back-packing trip walking the length of the White Mountains in Inyo County. The hiking was mostly at 13,000 feet, and it is amazing how challenging it is to back-pack at that elevation even when you are used to it. There were no trails and we spent most of the time on steep talus slopes, picking out the better footing created by the herds of bighorn sheep. The wildlife we saw was incredible: marmots, bighorns, wild horses, and a golden eagle that tried to grab me while I was clumsily traversing an arête! All of it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The best live music performance/concert you ever attended is …

Edgar Winter, and several other bands at Winterland in San Francisco.

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

During three years of High School, Mrs. Moorehead was my teacher for Geometry, Trigonometry, and Geometry 2. She was strict, organized, and had excellent skills for explaining math concepts and teaching students to think logically (we did a lot of geometry proofs in front of the class). She was also a warmly authentic person who treated everyone with respect. Students who behaved poorly in other classes became their best selves in Mrs. Moorehead’s class. I have forgotten most of my teachers, but I remember many caring conversations with her. I hope some of my own teaching style is modeled after her example.

Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.

There are many people I greatly respect, but for a meal I wouldn’t want to be too overawed. I think I could have a nice chat with Malcolm Gladwell, an author and journalist who has written several books, such as “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.” I love his podcasts.

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.