Ken Rosa is the art teacher at P.S. 38 and the husband of Debbie Grundzlweick. Whenever Nate chooses his favorite teacher, he always chooses Mr. Rosa. This is mostly because Mr. Rosa most of the time is too burned out to teach "real" subjects. Mr. Rosa was one of the major characters back in the 1990s in the Big Nate comics. ​Nate has got detention several times from Mr. Rosa, but he has never given any to anyone else. He was Nate's homeroom teacher at first, but Nate was moved to Mrs. Godfrey's homeroom later on. Mr. Rosa has given Nate detention only once.


Personality and Traits

Nate describes Ken as a "too burned-out teacher, and does not care about what his students do". It is shown that he makes them work on "special projects" often though. He likes Nate as only a small friend although most of the time he is annoyed with Nate. In Big Nate Goes For Broke, he and Nate have a very strong friendship. Nate has even visited his house. Nate notes also, that he has helped them win a contest against Jefferson Middle School


Early Life

Ken Rosa was born in a small town in the Midwest. He drew his first crayon drawing when he was only 3 and got his first paint set when he was 6. His turning point in life was when he visited an art museum. Since then, he's always wanted to be a famous artist. He failed at many subjects, and he even flunked out of dental school. So, he eventually got a Master's degree in art and taught the subject in P.S. 38. He is also to be said to have 3 bachelor's degrees as well as a master's.

Big Nate In A Class By Himself

After class with Ms. Clarke, Nate Wright, Teddy Ortiz, and Francis Pope head off to see normal things at their school. Then they see drawings on a display case and learn that Artur’s shoe drawing is the most popular for two months in a row. In the art class, Nate tries to get Mr. Rosa to put his drawing in the display case, but Rosa claims he doesn’t have time (saying he doesn't have time for frivolous requests). Rosa then assigns everyone to make puppet heads. Nate whispers to Francis to create a distraction, which he does, resulting in the class going wild and Mr. Rosa having to calm them down. Nate gets his green light, but when trying to open the display case, the doorknob breaks off. Mr. Rosa hears this and rushes out to find Nate holding the knob in his hand. Rosa gives Nate his third detention of the day. Nate also mentions that Rosa has never given detention before that year.

Passage to Jefferson

In this book, Mr. Rosa is the cartooning club faculty adviser. Nate told Rosa and Mrs. Everett about the Ultimate Snowdown, which was an attempt to defeat Jefferson, convinced them to act as the judges for the contest. The event, which began at 10:00 A.M., was held on Saturday on the Soccer Field. As everyone organized their building posts, Jefferson hung a tarp so no one would notice them using their mascot, which the P.S. 38 students did not notice this at first. Apparently, Rosa and Everett waited in a place where they could not witness the design of both projects. Everybody began work for the next six hours. When it was 3:00 (the time for judging), Jefferson had lost since they had just put snow over the old suit of armor in the storage room, which Mr. Rosa and Nate both noticed. P.S. 38, on the other hand, made their sculpture out of snow, using an icicle for an arrow and nail polish for blood. Everett and Rosa both agreed that P.S. 38 had won for their creativity, and then announced P.S. 38's victory. They had finally surpassed Jefferson Middle School.


Nate Wright

Ken Rosa is Nate's favorite schoolteacher. According to Nate, Rosa has never given him a detention slip except for the time when he broke the lock to the display case. Nate excels in Rosa's subject, which is art, and the two are generally on friendly terms with each other. Nate also claims that it's common knowledge that he is Mr. Rosa's favorite student, to which Rosa responded, "It is?"

Clara Godfrey

Mrs. Godfrey and Mr. Rosa used to be enemies. However, they are now pretty friendly to each other, with Mrs. Godfrey even helping Mr. Rosa once when his back went out.

Debbie Grundzlweick

Debbie Grundzlweick is Mr. Rosa's wife.


  • In Big Nate Goes For Broke, it is revealed that he has a dog.
  • He has a Master's Degree and 3 Bachelor Degrees as well.
  • He has been teaching students at P.S 38 for a very long time. In a comic strip, a young man with his wife spotted Mr. Rosa working at the ice cream place and said that Mr. Rosa taught him when he was a kid. Mr. Rosa then thought "I should have flunked that little (CENSORED) the first chance I got."
  • His summer job is at an ice cream place.
  • He really wanted to be a artist, he even had his own art show.
  • He has the lowest rating on Nate's 'P.S. 38 ANGERGRAPH!', rated as 'miffed monthly'.
  • He is the manager of P.S 38's chess club.
  • Nate once did a survey with the students in school about who is the most liked teacher, and Mr Rosa came last. Mr Granger came first, and Mr Rosa said "Mr Granger?! Granger the Stranger?!"
  • Once, Mr. Rosa hanged his own paintings in his room to inspire his students. It failed, however, when Nate thought one of the paintings looked like a painting made by a monkey that he saw on "Oprah".
  • The janitor once told Nate that he gets paid more than Mr. Rosa.
  • Mr Rosa has also once lead Nate's junior woodchucks on a camping trip in the woods only to get lost.
  • Mr Rosa has lead the student's of Nate's class on a trip to Washington D.C when Mrs. Godfrey couldn't make it in time. He's also lead the students on a overnight Chess tournament.
  • He is pretty positive about things, such as when Nate was sleeping during his oral report and when Francis, Teddy, and Artur all went on a triple date.
  • He likes to keep his door open and is an "approachable teacher".
  • He hides candy (Sno-Caps) in his desk.
  • He once got mad and yelled at Nate Wright And Teddy Ortiz for not washing their hands after putting glue all over them.


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