School foundation picks new leader

GREENFIELD — Ginny Brown thinks she’s found her niche.

A 1982 Greenfield-Central High School graduate, Brown recently moved back to the community and has been appointed director of the Greenfield Central School Foundation, an organization that provides grants to local teachers for classroom projects.

Brown will fill the shoes of Myra Bleill, who recently retired and is credited with expanding the foundation since she took over the role in 2011. Brown wants to build on those roots and make more connections with alumni to raise money for Greenfield classrooms.

With a master’s degree in business administration and a background in both business and education, Brown said she’s excited about her new role.

“I’m loving it because I’m getting engrossed in the school system here, and that’s really where I’m wanting to be,” Brown said.

Brown and her family recently moved back to Greenfield after several years living on the east side of Indianapolis. She is married to Gary and has a 13-year-old daughter, Meghan, who now attends Greenfield Central Junior High School.

Brown worked most recently for Energizing Indiana, an energy-efficiency program where she helped with community outreach and connecting with nonprofit organizations. Brown also has served as president and vice president of parent-teacher organizations in Warren Township, but she said for years the family wanted to move back to Greenfield for the sense of community and schools.

The family made the move last year, and Brown is getting involved in local service and business organizations.

Though Brown has been in her new position a few weeks, she said she’s already been meeting with school principals to brainstorm ideas to bring more donations into the classroom.

“It’s all about developing relationships,” she said.

Brown’s first priority is connecting with Greenfield-Central alumni. She said if people hear of innovative ideas for the classroom, they will be more likely to jump on board.

Brown said she remembers a time when the high school she attended had just two computers. She wants to reach out to alumni from those years and invite them to tour the school today, which now is in the early stages of rolling out a one-to-one computing program to put devices in the hands of every student.

Brown said she wants Greenfield grads to “see how much it’s grown and changed and encourage them to reach into their pockets and support their school because it’s come so far.”

Originally called the Set A Good Example Foundation, the Greenfield Central School Foundation has been in place since 1986 as a way for individuals, businesses, foundations, nonprofits, teachers and alumni to work together to support local schools.

From organizing Kindergarten 101, which teaches preschoolers the essentials of kindergarten, to securing funding for a high school team to compete in a NASA space rover challenge, the foundation takes steps to support all ages of students.

School foundation board member Becky Riley said the job seems like a solid fit for Brown.

“She really seems to enjoy it,” Riley said. “We just think she’s got a lot of qualifications, and we are putting her to work already.”

Mike Mack, outgoing president of the school foundation board, said the board was looking for someone with local roots, a resident of the community with solid management skills. Board members found all of those attributes in Brown, along with a passion for the school’s foundation, Mack said.

“She’s certainly excited and has come in, hit the ground running,” Mack said. “The foundation itself has grown immensely in the last few years. We have a lot of thanks to Myra (Bleill) and the direction and guidance she provided. I think Ginny is the perfect person to come in and help us continue on that momentum.”