Nauset Youth Alliance Director To Retire; David Rost Has Led Afterschool, Summer Programming Since 2017

by Rich Eldred
David Rost will retire from his role as executive director of the Nauset Youth Alliance in June.  COURTESY PHOTO David Rost will retire from his role as executive director of the Nauset Youth Alliance in June. COURTESY PHOTO

BREWSTER – When David Rost moved full time to Eastham in 2017, he wanted a change of pace. The seasoned educator found it in the Nauset Youth Alliance.

After three decades working in boarding schools and independent high schools in and around New England, Rost was hired seven years ago as executive director of the alliance, which operates afterschool and summer programs for Brewster students ages 5 to 14.

“It’s hard not to have fun when the kids are having fun,” he said. “We get swept along with them.”

But while he’s enjoyed his time working with younger students, it was announced last week that Rost, 64, will retire from his post in June to make way for a new director to take the reins.

The alliance, a nonprofit that is funded through tuition and grants, operates out of space in both the Eddy and Stony Brook elementary schools. Under Rost’s stewardship, enrollment in the afterschool program increased from 115 students in the 2017-2018 school year to 182 students today. The summer program, which includes some students from neighboring towns, has also grown in Rost’s time as director.

“My first couple of summers here, their summer program only had 48 kids per day,” he said. “Now we had to expand our license last summer to meet the demand. We went from 65 on our license to 78.”

Heather Sprague, who chairs the alliance’s board of directors, credited Rost with bringing new programming and structures that have helped grow the alliance during his tenure. That includes the implementation of a social emotional learning curriculum that teaches students about showing respect and kindness.

“We are also grateful for David’s leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his consistent efforts to serve the broader Brewster community through consistent coordination and communication with other community stakeholders,” she said in a statement. “Most of all, however, we thank David for his unwavering support and care for the children who have attended NYA under his leadership.”

Prior to moving to the Cape, Rost spent 22 years at Concord Academy, three years as dean of students at New Hampton School in New Hampshire and four years as assistant dean at Milford Academy in Connecticut.

“My wife and I just decided after 24/7 of boarding schools it was time for a change,” he said. “My kids were out of college. We’ve been coming down here to Eastham since 1995 and bought our house in 2001. So we moved down here to take this position.”

Rost said he’s proud to have led a program that remains among the most affordable independent afterschool and summer programs in the region, especially as the need in Brewster and the Lower Cape continues to grow.

“Part of our operating philosophy is we’re here for the working families,” he said. “That’s why we expanded the license, because families need to have their kids in a safe and structured environment so they can work.”

It can be difficult to find the right time to retire, but Rost said in making his decision, he was mindful of stepping away sooner rather than later.

“The reason we moved down here fulltime and want to retire down here is to enjoy all the beautiful things the Cape has to offer,” he said. “Working doesn’t allow you to do that all the time.”

Rost said he’ll miss his colleagues, board members and most of all, the students. But he’s not making a complete break from the alliance, at least not right away. The board hopes to have a new director in place in April or May. Rost, meanwhile, plans to stay on part time in an advisory and bookkeeping role to help with the transition.

“I’ll be in the back office,” he said. “I want to give space to let the new director put their stamp on the program.”

Rost said he plans to fully retire in June 2025, the same time as his wife.

“I’m just very thankful for the opportunity,” he said of his time at the alliance.