Toby Rose — mentor, teacher, community leader

Miami's Community Newspapers

Toby Rose is first and foremost a mentor. She began as a middle school teacher before forming Toby Rose’s College Prep to provide college counseling and tutoring services, a Pinecrest business for 25 years.

An educator for most of her life, Rose helped pay her way through college by creating a cottage industry selling her outlines for history classes to fellow University of Miami students. She also worked her way through college by selling her services as a tutor to her classmates, a service known as Tutoring by Toby.

When Rose attended college, professional options were limited for most American women. Teaching and nursing were fields that most college-bound women were counseled to pursue. In Rose’s case, the teaching profession was a natural for her.

“Kids mean something to me; they’re not a dollar sign,” she said. Rose’s first post in education was at Hialeah Middle School where she taught history for five years. She formed a service club for students — many with discipline issues — to work with special education students.

“I paired some of the toughest students with students with disabilities,” said Rose.

It was mutually beneficial and changed attitudes, providing direction and meaning for those involved with the club. In 1965, her teaching methods landed her the title of Miami’s Outstanding Teacher.

Toby Rose’s College Prep operated in Pinecrest for decades with Rose and a staff of teachers who tutored students in every subject. Rose was instrumental in ensuring scholarships for many of her students, often to Ivy League schools. Today, she continues to counsel in the press, writing a column for the Pinecrest Tribune under the byline of Ask Toby.

Among Rose’s career highlights is the presidency of the local chapter of her college sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi. She became national vice president and, in that capacity, visited many colleges and universities around the country, gaining insight and information that later proved useful when she counseled students about choosing a school best suited for them.

Rose also served as the chairman of the Dade County Academic Advisory Board and helped establish the Pinecrest Business Association. She served as president of that organization for three years and is the current chair of the education committee.

“The Pinecrest Business Association is a great network,” said Rose.

While she has closed the Toby Rose’s College Prep business office, she continues to tutor students. She says she enjoys working one-on-one with them and even helps some without charging a fee. Students from around the world, including South Korea and Brazil, are tutored by Rose today.

“I really get involved with these kids,” she said. “They come to me with all sorts of things.”

Rose stays current with the latest education and teaching methods, and believes the future of learning is online. Preparing a college application has become more competitive over the years and most now require 10 to 30 hours to properly complete. Rose’s advice is to start early.

“I can’t say I am retired, I am still in the business doing what I love to do the most,” she said.

For information, text 305-790-3746 or email

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