Peter Rosenberry, 30, hit the ground running when he accepted the Black Oak Mine Unified School District’s position of chief fiscal officer. He grew up in Pollock Pines and is a 1999 graduate of El Dorado High School. He then attended Concordia University in Irvine and graduated in 2003 with a communications major.
“I got a job right out of college as an assistant center director of a learning center in Irvine,” he said. “That was my introduction to the idea of running a business while working with children.”
In 2004-05, Rosenberry said he got the opportunity to go to Japan to do almost the same thing as he was doing at the learning center. After his return from the Orient, he said he ended up in San Francisco, where his grandparents live, and managed a Starbucks in the city for three years.
“It was like a finishing school,” said Rosenberry of the training program provided by Starbucks for their managers. “I learned micro-management, inventory, multi-month projections and looking for trends. I enjoyed it very much.”
He went on to manage another Starbucks in Visalia before landing a job with the Hanford Elementary School District managing a grant fund under the Department of Special Services.
“I was fascinated by the difference in school finance,” Rosenberry said. Although he “tested out” of math in college, he decided to return and took trigonometry, cementing his “passion for numbers.
“Mathematics can be art,” he said. “In a way, it’s a convergence of all fields.”
Last year, Rosenberry said he moved back to El Dorado County to be close to his family. His father, Bill, just retired from teaching at Indian Creek School; and his mother, Marcia Keeney, is a registered nurse, also recently retired.
“I knew I wanted to work with a school district,” Rosenberry said of his new appointment. “I was honest with them (at his interview). I knew other candidates might have more experience in school finance than me, but I genuinely enjoy communicating with peole and that’s a skill that can’t be taught,” he added. He also said he is grateful to the district and El Dorado County for providing him immediate and extensive support and training.
Referring to fiscal expert Steve Luhrs (who has been working with the district’s budget since Chief Business Officer Linda Jordan left) as his mentor, Rosenberry said every report he gives to the board is vetted by him, and he is grateful for the support of interim fiscal officer Chris Cox.
Being “thrown in” mid-year and during a time of extreme economic hardship for the district complicates Rosenberry’s position.
“It’s a huge job and a lot of responsibility,” he said. “I’m committed to doing the best job I can to save this district. This is not just a business; these are kids and these are people. It’s a challenge to restore trust; that comes with time and showing them (the public and district) what you’re doing.
“I’m looking forward to working within this great community, to do the best I can for the district, the students and the community,” Rosenberry added.
The oldest of three, Rosenberry has a brother, David, 28, who is a solar engineer in Stockton, and a sister, Mary, 26, to whom he refers as a “world traveler.” She teaches English as a second language and has, indeed, traveled many places throughout the world.