Meet Our Team - Rose Group

Meet The Team

Dr Eugene Kinghorn Thumb
Catherine Kinghorn Thumb
Kelly Hurtado Thumb
Dr. Amy Schlessman Thumb
Cathy Capen Thumb
Julie Gallardo Thumb

Catherine Kinghorn

Chief Operations Officer

Catherine Kinghorn

I have three gifts: first I am a mom of five adults; second with a depth of business skills in my background I can think differently doing the business of school, third, as co-founder of the ROSE Academies and Rose Management Group, I have created a paradigm shift in how our business works. We have a school and business culture that lives dignity and respect and breathes customer service. Let me give you examples of what I mean.

We have turned around the notion of "student population," to customer population. We know that the services we provide must meet the standards of a world class education, create a need for these customers to want more of it, and meet the high expectation that this student-customer is able to cash in with his educational currency for his family, community, advancement of mankind or it leads nowhere.

Once the paradigm shifts:

FROM seeing young adults walking through your doors as students

TO realizing they are customers who come to you for a service, and your livelihood depends on it, things change dramatically.

You now listen differently. You listen to the flexibility they need, and how they believe they learn, rather than dumping them into a cookie cutter education approach where one size fits all.

For example here's a real story: When I was a principal, I had a student come in and talk to me saying that she wants to go to school, but has a full time job to support herself and new baby." Just by listening to her I knew that she needed flexibility. I also was impressed that she is acting responsibly (something by the way we want adults to do?), and remarkably she knows she needs an education. You have to know that Our ROSE system allows scheduling flexibility you wouldn't believe. So I told her to come in any time during our fifteen-hour school day Monday to Thursday. She also took advantage of the option to come in on Fridays and get even more extensive one-on-one help.

And another story! We created a flexible schedule for a 21 year old student who had a family and needed a high school diploma for a promotion at work. It was amazing! The student was at ROSE from morning to night; HE was jump started; energized; and wished he had this type of opportunity early on in his high school education. By the way, he got that promotion and is now well into his career as an x-ray technician at a local hospital in Tucson.

In my role as a founder, I have helped these great schools, Rose Academies, move from the presumption of expecting students to return, to the anxiety of making sure you have created a solid customer base. We work to establish a customer base where our customers recommend through word of mouth to bring their friends and family along with them; this is the reality to which all of our Rose stafff aspires.

For example: We had a young student who graduated from our school. Due to her success, we had all of her other brothers and sisters enroll and ultimately graduate from ROSE. This is the reality of how our parents really appreciate the flexibility we bring in a high school education for their children. The whole family knows our ROSE system. They know that they can talk at a moment's notice to the principal or assistant principal about anything going on in the student's life because they know their young adult. They know we empower the student to take charge of their education and practice doing it by implementing their Rose Personal Planner (RP3©) to chart out their daily, weekly, and monthly plans for to graduate on time. They know our mission to Honor the Promise of Education is not a promissory note, rather it is redeemable as solid tender for life.
(520) 797-4884 x1111

Dr. Eugene Kinghorn

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Eugene Kinghorn

Dr Eugene Kinghorn is a co-founder and the legal charter operator of the Rose Academies in the State of Arizona. Dr Kinghorn earned his high school diploma from Marmion Military Academy, a Bachelor degree in Music Education at Indiana University, and dual Master degrees (learning and behavioural disabilities, and a Doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of Arizona.

As a Founder of these great schools, Rose Academies, Dr Kinghorn is a strong advocate for the "disenfranchised student." This is the student who does not experience the success s/he should in the traditional school systems. In his experience of 41 years as an educator, he has targeted three things in how the Rose Academies must deliver high school education:

  1. The student is a customer who has potential and individual educational needs.
  2. The environment eliminates behavioural issues that interfere with the academic growth of each student-customer. This includes the selection of staff, teachers and principals we hire. A deliberate teaching team approach led by the principal proactively views how each student is doing in all subject areas, so as to help the student Learn How to Learn to make connections. The classroom layout and routine provides space, movement and focus for academic activities for each student. Most importantly, student discipline is shareable and transparent, fair and just for each student.
  3. Curriculum and instruction has rigor needed for post-secondary academics with flexibility that provides a personalized self-paced (not self-taught) educational experience. The curriculum and instruction blends the individualized computer based curriculum with daily individual and small group instruction. Each student is given the daily personal support of a teacher-coach to ensure the student Learns How to Learn and value the adult responsibility of facilitating and acquiring their education using the Rose Personal Progress Planner (RP3©).

Under Dr K's leadership the Rose curriculum is unlike most high school curricula being offered in Arizona. The Rose Curriculum addresses two key educational skills for its high school students as stated in the old adage:

"Give a fish & you eat for a day. Teach how to fish, and you eat for a lifetime."

The first skill (eat for a day) feeds information to hungry learners. Rose Academy students will learn the FACTS needed for the mastery of each subject area. The second skill (how to fish) provides each Rose Academy student the wherewithal to Learn How to Learn (H2L®). Rose Academy students will acquire new thinking skills and thought patterns and deliberately transfer these into a wider scope of academic, social, work, and life situations. This is what makes Rose Academies great schools for Tucson high school students!
(520) 797-4884

Cathy Capen

Financial Officer

Cathy Capen

Cathy currently serves as Financial Officer of RMG with her 10 years of experience within the educational management organization. Cathy has working experience as Director of Student Services and as Special Education Coordinator. Cathy graduated with honors and holds a B.A. in Business Administration.
(520) 797-4884 x1103

Dr. Amy Schlessman

Research, Development, Innovation

Dr. Amy Schlessman

Dr Amy Schlessman serves R.O.S.E.® in development of growth opportunities and innovations for learning communities within the organization, as well as in Arizona, nationally, and worldwide. Dr S joined RMG with over twenty years of internationally recognized educational expertise including teaching at public schools and universities with an award for Meritorious Teaching at the University of Arizona, working with Fortune 500 companies, and leading organizations and professional associations such as elected President of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International. Her academic credentials include the Robie Medal for Outstanding Senior Woman at the University of Arizona, Phi Beta Kappa, two Master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations & Administration. Dr. Schlessman’s publications range from theoretical models and frameworks to practical applications. Her peer-reviewed research and public policy interests, found in national and international scholarship, include alternative education, alternative education campus accountability, collaboration, and creative-innovative intelligences.

Kelly Hurtado


Kelly Hurtado

Dr. Kelly Hurtado leads the schools as Superintendent. She relentlessly pursues quality in a learning community that serves the customers – the students & their families through the school professionals - principals, teachers, & clerks. Dr. Hurtado has been with the Rose Academies since its inception in 1999. She has held many positions within the organization from grants manager to principal. In 2010, Dr. Hurtado was recognized for her leadership and contributions to education through Arizona Daily Star’s 40 under 40 awards. Her academic credentials include a M.A. in Educational Leadership and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction.

Julie Gallardo

Business Manager


Julie is in her 14th year with the Rose Academies, currently serving as Business Manager. Just as ROSE creates life opportunities for our students, so it goes for our employees too. Julie experienced the ROSE system as a Front Desk Clerk, and Student Services Manager, before being promoted to her current position. Julie is known for her excellent customer service, (a cornerstone of ROSE’s success), to students and staff, bridging the school and Education Management Organization in our efforts to Honor the Promise of Education.

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