Teaching has been a lifelong goal for Rose M. Redmon-Holliday, having recalled spending childhood summers playing school with her younger sister, teaching her songs and games. Subsequently, she earned an Associate of Arts at Midway Junior College in Kentucky in 1972 and a Bachelor of Science at the College at Brockport, a part of the State University of New York system, in 1973. Ms. Redmon-Holliday concluded her education with a Master of Science from Emporia State University in 1981.
A teacher for the Kansas City Public Schools from 1974 to 1981, Ms. Redmon-Holliday worked as an instructor at the University of Minnesota at Morris from 1981 to 1982 and a special education teacher for Minneapolis’ Special School District 1 from 1982 to 1983, before accepting a position at the Webster Open School in Minneapolis as a teacher and a middle school coordinator from 1983 to 2000. From 2000 to 2004, she served as a middle school coordinator at Jordan Park School’s extended learning program and as a Title I-funded mathematics teacher at Olson Middle School in Minneapolis from 2004 to 2005. In 2005, Ms. Redmon-Holliday relocated to Kentucky, where she would teach mathematics at Christian County High School in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, until 2009.
In addition, Ms. Redmon-Holliday came from a family that was not wealthy. However, she received scholarships, and completed national defense and work study. When it was time for her sister to go to college, they didn’t have the money so she would send money to her sister to attend. Her sister later became a librarian in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Ms. Redmon-Holliday is a certified secondary education teacher in Minnesota, New York, Kentucky and Kansas. She is also a member of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
The highlight of Ms. Redmon-Holliday’s career was when she and a colleague, Joanne Christiansen, wrote a grant proposal and were accepted into the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). With that grant, they created a training school for schools around the world. While with the NYLC, she received many opportunities to speak at conferences. Another moment that stands out to Ms. Redmon-Holliday is when she and another colleague, Charlene Johnson, presented at a conference for “Schools for the 21st Century” in San Diego. She and Ms. Johnson were invited out there to learn about service learning. It was an international group and the people that they attached themselves most with were from Japan; they were learning how schools changed from the early days of pure learning to being more proactive in the 21st century in teaching and not just learning, but cooperating and having a population that could work together and be adaptive. Thus, they met people from all over the world and it was wonderful.
Ms. Redmon-Holliday would like to be remembered by her peers or others as someone who expected her children to work hard and learn so they could learn how to be an adult; she wanted to prepare them. As for her colleagues, she wanted them to know that they were responsible of creating the future for the country and the world. They produce the future and, unfortunately, parents don’t take enough responsibility, so the teachers had to pick up the slack. The advice that Ms. Redmon-Holliday can offer the next generation or others aspiring to work in her profession would be that it is hard, but do not give up because it is worth every minute of it. You just have to be the one to “do”; if you do not, than who will? What kept her motivated was when the lightbulb would turn on and the student would understand the work. Her favorite part of her profession was seeing the excitement on the children’s faces; a memorable moment in her career was taking a group to a conference in Detroit.