December 20, 2012 | Vol. 116 -- No. 35

Board picks Browne for District 3

Correction center business manager named to seat vacated by Larry Haskell

Cheney School Board directors voted unanimously to name Airway Heights resident Henry Browne as new Cheney school’s District 3 director at a special meeting Tuesday night. Brown replaces Larry Haskell, who stepped down earlier this year because he and his family moved out of the district.

In his cover letter, Browne said he believes learning is a “lifetime experience” that provides a solid basis for success, and that he is “passionate about education and the role a sound education plays in determining one’s success” in the workplace and society.

“I also believe it to be my civic duty to contribute in whatever way I can within my community,” he wrote.

Browne has an MBA in accounting from the University of Phoenix and 26 years of accounting experience, national and international. He is currently the business manager for Airway Heights Corrections Center, filling that position since 2001.

Browne and his family, including three children in the Cheney School District, are originally from Monrovia, Liberia, emigrating to the U.S. in October 1999 and gaining U.S. citizenship in 2006. It was this “world view” experience that several school board members said they found appealing in selecting him.

“As a society, we’re not just Cheney anymore,” board president Susan Dolle said, adding that recent events such as the elementary school shooting in Connecticut and their impacts felt across the country and elsewhere indicated a more tightly-woven world.

“What affects one part of the world affects all of us,” Dolle said.

Browne topped a list of candidates that included Airway Heights Parks and Recreation Director J.C. Kennedy and Airway Heights Baptist Church youth pastor and city Police Department chaplain Joshua Singleton. All four board members felt the candidates were strong, but that Browne’s carefully phrased and thoughtful answers made him stand out.

Board member Rick Mount, while praising his obvious passion for kids and his Airway Heights community, expressed concerns that Kennedy’s position with the city might force him to recuse himself from discussions on things like after school programs where the city stood to benefit from school board decisions. Mount also felt Browne would have more of the time required to be a board member.

“As we all know when we first came on the board the expectation of the time we would be serving was not accurate,” Mount said in remarks that brought laughter from the other members.

According to his resume, Browne also works with former refugees as a volunteer with World Relief, is associate pastor at New Hope Christian Center, a member of Airway Heights Diversity Council and former chair of the East Region Section 1 Diversity Committee.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

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