How can an educator help my business? Public schools are big business. In many communities, the public school is one of the biggest employers and operates one of the largest budgets. In today’s economy, survival for many businesses is challenging. Schools face similar challenges… with a few key differences. School funding has very few options for increasing revenue in a timely fashion. Some school tax initiative, approved by voters, can take a year to begin collections. Schools have employment obligations that limit how and when employees can be laid off or released. Despite those challenges, David Brobeck’s problem-solving skills, willingness to listen to others, and desire to bring people together enabled his leadership team to design attractive programs, reframe costs and expenses, and bring non-traditional revenue to the community schools.
Who is David Brobeck? – David was raised in the country not far from the J&L Steel smoke stacks in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The third of five children born to Stanley and Jane Brobeck, both teachers, he would graduate from Center High School in Monaca, Pennsylvania then migrate west to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. He graduated from CLU in 1975 with a BA in English, then David decided to return home. While student teaching at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA, he was interviewed and hired by the Kent (OH) City Schools where he would begin his journey as an teacher.
David taught Language Arts and Reading for 17 years before being appointed as the assistant principal at Davey Jr. High School in Kent. His chief task was to lead the school in an organization change from a junior high to a team-based middle school. Davey became the first of three middle schools Dr. Brobeck led the staff to establish a team design as a means to increase student achievement.
The Woodridge Schools hired David as Middle School Principal in 1996. His charge was to open a new building, create a team-based academic program, and work with the staff and superintendent to works towards being recognized as a school of excellence. Woodridge Middle School achieved that pinnacle in 2000 when the US Department of Education recognized WMS as one of America’s best schools.
In 2000, David reached a long-term goal and was hired for his first superintendent’s position in Salem, Ohio. In this role, he created a Business Advisory Council to assist the his desire to use sound business principles to operate the 18 million dollar budget. As a visionary problem-solver, David led a reorganization of programs, personnel, and practices. The district would begin the county’s first all-day, every day kindergarten program, dramatically increase advanced placement opportunities at the high school, and implement significant accountability standards for the employees. He reorganized administrative personnel to better serve the schools and the community. Working collaboratively with the Board of Education and Business Advisory Council, David was able to create a position specific to the open enrollment program that had been losing nearly $150,000 annually. Like any business suffering a consistent loss, the OE Coordinator was given the task to reverse the losses. In two years, the open enrollment program when from losing money to earning more than $100,000 dollars.
David’s final position as a superintendent showcased his problem-solving and business skills. The district faced staggering financial challenges. David created the districts first Business Advisory Council (BAC). Diagnosing the community interests, financial limitations, and future implications, David and the key BAC members designed a employee contribution health care program that helped employees to agree to move from a contribution of less than one half percent to 20% of the cost of health care. That program saved jobs and continues to produce a savings for the school organization. In addition, he also wrote a successful charter school grant that brought $500,000 of development funds to the community. The charter school, operating a program designed by Dr. Brobeck, has been recognized by the State of Ohio as a top performing school academically in each year it has been in operation.
Today David teaches graduate education course for Walsh University in North Canton, OH. He has been researching current research on how people learn most effectively, and how the brain functions most effectively for learning, retaining, and performing at optimal levels. He has expertise in leadership, management, supervisions, legal and ethical issues in the work place, and conducting “action research” in the work place as a means to test and measure the effectiveness of new and emerging ideas.
David’s programs inspire all employees, regardless of position, to increased performance in the manner similar to how the best teachers and coaches have inspired learners throughout history. David understands that the best businesses and organizations create a culture based on purpose, principles, and perspectives that invest in its people.