As A Rowe Graduate, Parent, and US Army Veteran, I’m Ready to Serve on the School Board

by Ben Brown

OCT 22, 2018

I am asking for your vote for the Rancho Santa Fe School Board. Why am I running? The  answer is simple: I want to improve the lives of our children, and I have the background and skill set to do it. There are many pressing issues effecting the school: staff organizational changes, a budget deficit, a lack of fiscal responsibility, a possible bond-measure-induced property-tax hike, a shortage of communication, a lack of clearly-defined goals, and no master plan. These serious challenges require hard decisions to be made. These decisions can be disastrous or extremely positive depending on whether the right candidate is chosen to make the best choices and manage the resultant change.

Why I’m Personally Qualified for the Board

I am a regular fixture at R. Roger Rowe. Whether I’m reading with students in the classroom, running “Study Buddies,” coaching sports teams, or talking with the staff and administrators, I’m always trying to help our school in any way I can.

Ben Brown

Rowe is like my second home, and its staff my second family. My mother taught at the school for nearly 40 years, and I attended Rowe from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. The strong, personal bonds I made with my teachers back then are the same ones I cherish now as these childhood mentors now educate my own children (I have four children who currently attend Rowe, and two future Eagles in diapers). I have a special perspective from growing up here, attending Rowe, and now running for the Board. As my personal history and current relationship with the school attest, I am uniquely invested in Rowe’s success.

If people don’t know me from volunteering at the school, it may be from another passion of mine: helping wounded warriors like me. As a veteran US Army Ranger and Purple Heart recipient, I know the challenges and hardships my fellow compatriots have endured. I recently ran the Kodiak Ultra Marathon, a treacherous 102-mile race, to raise funds to allow participants to attend the non-profit 9 Week Warrior rehabilitative program my wife, Chondra, and I founded, at no cost to them. The program is a culmination of different therapies that helped me overcome certain traumatic effects of combat. We raised 20,000 dollars for the Kodiak Ultra Marathon alone, which enabled eight people to participate in the program, and raised a total of 67,000 dollars in the last year. Twelve participants have graduated from 9 Week Warrior in the last year, and six are currently going through the program.

I am open to change, always ready to question preconceived ideas, and I know that none of us have all the answers. One of my personal heroes, U.S. President and former Army Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, is quoted as saying, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” I couldn’t agree more. Being approachable, open-minded and willing to listen to others go a long way with getting along better with people. That’s a successful leader.

I served my country with the honor and integrity it deserves. I made many personal sacrifices, but it was worth it. I adhere to the same standard now and every single day when volunteering at the school or in the community. This community and its residents have made me who I am, and I can’t think of anything more rewarding than serving each and every one of them.

Why I’m Professionally Qualified for the Board

I have led and continue to lead high-performance teams, as a US Army Ranger CPT, Retired – deployed Iraq 2006-2008, and as the Captain of a Division 1 Lacrosse team at the NCAA tournament. I have managed nine million dollars of government assets and the lives and livelihoods of 28 soldiers.

I have built a long, successful career working for Roche Diagnostics selling capital equipment for cancer diagnostics.

Currently, I serve as the Co-founder of 9 Week Warrior Corp., and I am responsible for training and development, community outreach coordination, operations, fundraising, staff management, brand development, and sustainability and growth.

What I’m Prepared to Do

Another hero of mine is U.S. Army General George S. Patton, who said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Every day I’m determined to give my all and live my life with honesty and integrity, in both my personal and professional relationships and in making difficult decisions – whether it be a life and death situation in combat or a School Board decision effecting our children’s education. I believe in leading by example, building trust and effective communication, and delegating and empowering others so that they are not only inspired — but accountable.

The above qualities are required if we are going to achieve the following goals: 1.) Make the school more fiscally responsible, 2.) Restore trust and communication at all levels, 3.) Improve individual responsibility, shared ownership, and transparency, 4.) Update physical security and safety measures to include anti-bullying, 5.) Create a master plan with clearly-defined short- and long-term goals, and with specific time frames within which to achieve them.

Hard decisions and changes need to be made at Rowe. I know what sacrifice is; I know how to make tough, but considerate, calls; I know how to overcome impossible challenges; And I certainly know how to serve others. I’ve dedicated my life to public service, and I’m ready to do it again for our most important asset: Our children.

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