Campus assistant starts new chapter in law enforcement

Paul Brown was a campus assistant at Bonita Vista High. After leaving, he began working towards joining local law enforcement.

Photo provided by BVH yearbook

Paul Brown was a campus assistant at Bonita Vista High. After leaving, he began working towards joining local law enforcement.

Lucía Rivera
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the message “Thank you MR.BROWN” flashed in red on a electronic board outside the gymnasium. The day before was Paul Brown’s last day as a campus assistant at BVH.

His last day on campus passed quietly. On Friday, Feb. 7, Campus Assistant Paul Brown surveyed the halls of Bonita Vista High (BVH) for the last time. Upon his departure, Brown made plans to become a county sheriff, and began training on Feb. 28 at the San Diego Regional Public Safety Training Institute (SDRPSTI).

“I’ve always wanted to be a police officer from the time I was a little kid but [with] different things happening growing up I just never pursued it,” Brown said.

Brown began as a substitute teacher at Eastlake Middle (EM) and later transferred to BVH, where he coached football for two years before working as a campus assistant. After six years at BVH, Brown submitted a leave of absence to Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD), which approved his departure. Only two campus assistants remain.

“[It’s] bittersweet because we’re losing someone here at Bonita that’s a huge part of our student safety but for him to achieve what he’s wanted is super exciting for him,” close friend and counselor Lorena Mata said.

As a sheriff, Brown intends to work in different task forces and eventually be promoted within the police department to promote public safety, according to Brown.

“The goals are the same as they were at school: to be a resource for the public [and] help out people. Sometimes all someone needs is a different perspective,” Brown said.

Brown is remembered by community members for his relationships with staff and students. Principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D, highlights Brown’s interpersonal legacy at BVH.

“[He] had a lot of friends. The classified staff really counted on [him]. School culture [is] a living, breathing entity with a personality, and Paul [Brown] was an important part of our culture and our climate,” Del Rosario said.

Brown initially expected to form relationships with the football players he coached, and was later surprised “because [BVH] turned out to be a family.” Students like junior Gabriel Mata attest to Brown’s strong rapport with students.

“It went from us saying ‘Hi’ in the halls, and then eventually having actual conversations. He really cared for me and other students. He understood high school and what everybody was going through. That’s why he really connected with a lot of people,” G. Mata said.

Brown will finish training at the SDRPSTI in June and will begin employment thereafter, though he intends to return to coaching football in the future. Ultimately, he highlights his meaningful experiences and relationships at BVH.

“[BVH] made me a better person; I couldn’t do my job without [students]. The staff was awesome: Dr. Del Rosario, Mrs. [Esther] Wise, Mrs. [Jennifer Barker-]Heinz, Mr. [Carlos] Siragusa, Mr. [Christopher] Alvarez—and the ladies up front most definitely. I’m going to miss them all,” Brown said.