Caroline Brown leaves behind a legacy at Solana Beach School District

SBSD's Caroline Brown helped break ground on the new Solana Vista School earlier this year.

Caroline Brown is retiring after 41 years in the Solana Beach School District. Her last day on the job as the district’s executive director of capital programs will be Oct. 16.

Brown was recently honored as the Administrator of the Year in the category of Central Office Administrator by the Association of California School Administrators Region 18. The Solana Beach School District board took time to celebrate Brown at its Oct. 8 meeting, offering virtual thank yous and goodbyes for her service to the district and her passion for building facilities where students could be their best.

As board member Vicki King said, Brown is a rock and a workhorse, “a get stuff done person” who was a true leader for others. SBSD President Julie Union spoke of Brown’s dedication and the legacy she is leaving behind at the school district.

Brown began her education career in 1980 as an after school computer lab teacher and was later promoted to director of administrative and instructional technology. She served in this capacity until expanding into facilities and technology in 1999. In 2015, she was named executive director of capital programs, overseeing numerous school facilities projects connected to the district’s Measure JJ general obligation bond which passed in 2016.

During her time at the district, Brown oversaw the construction of Solana Pacific and Solana Ranch Schools, the modernization of Solana Highlands and the reconstruction of Solana Vista and Skyline, where Brown attended as a student. During the groundbreaking ceremony for Skyline, with one of her former teachers in attendance, Brown recalled how she used to ride her bike to school down Lomas Santa Fe, then a two-lane road with no median named Skyline Drive.

Before joining the school board this year, board member Dana King was a member on the Measure JJ Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, which worked closely with Brown on facilities projects.

“I thought you gave a wonderful sense of confidence to all of us as members on the fact that the substantial amount of funds that the citizens had entrusted us with, that you were absolutely committed to making sure those funds were managed properly and that there was a real commitment to the long-term success of our use of really important taxpayer dollars,” King said.

As Brown departs, the new Solana Vista School is under construction, set for a August 2021 opening, and up next is a planned modernization for Solana Santa Fe School, tentatively scheduled to begin in spring 2021.

“I am so proud of your service to the students and the Solana Beach School District community. As a former student you are leaving a legacy here that will impact students far into the future,” said SBSD Vice President Debra Schade. “I can’t imagine the Solana Beach School District without you.”