Chief Operating Officer
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MBAUniversity of South Florida, Sarasota, MEdUniversity of South Florida, Tampa, MLSUniversity of South Florida, Tampa, BA
email: rebecca.brown [at] sonomaacademy.org
phone: (707) 636-2462
Rebecca began her career in the classroom; she taught language arts, social studies, and theater at the middle school and high school levels in Florida. After years of teaching, she became interested in assisting with the technology that was proliferating throughout the education system. Working with tech in an education setting led her to get a Master’s in Library Science, and following that, she took a position as a technology trainer, helping teachers integrate new technology systems and media into their curricula throughout the state. The travel was exciting, but Rebecca found herself wanting to get back to the classroom, and she found her way to a novel program at an alternative school that allowed students to complete high school requirements in the morning and then learn a trade in the afternoons.
When Rebecca’s family relocated to Warsaw, Poland, she was initially planning to work in the library at a school there. “I was very lucky to have a supervisor who was very committed to empowering women,” she says. The school was in the process of hiring a new Director of Finance and Operations, and although Rebecca had not held this role in the past, she had been assisting her husband with his business for many years. “I told him that they would need an Interim Director, and I asked him to give me a shot,” she says. “I went through a long interview process, and at the end, it came down to me and one other candidate who had an accounting background. When they hired me, it came down to this: the accounting side of the position can be taught, but understanding the culture of schools is much more important. I get schools, and I love schools.”
This role turned out to be a perfect fit for Rebecca’s unique combination of analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to think creatively. She went on to work on the business side of education in Cairo, Egypt and several schools in Chicago before learning about the opening at Sonoma Academy. “My husband and I had sworn we’d never live in California, but when we learned that the job was in Sonoma County, we both got really excited,” she says. Since she started here in 2018, she has enjoyed the immense variety of tasks that her job encompasses. “I have never been bored, working here!” she says. “There is literally never a dull moment.”
When she isn’t poring over the fine details of our finances, Rebecca might be found doing some fine needlework. She’s an expert seamstress and has helped to create costumes for several of our theater productions. She also loves to read, travel, and watch interesting reality shows like “Forged in Fire,” a show about knife making. Never a dull moment, indeed!