Brian Grow’s passion for increasing equity and challenging the status quo in education is the reason he decided to join the Skill Struck team. He knows that democratizing access to computer science has the potential to change the trajectory of millions of young lives.
“There’s a lot of attention right now on STEM education, and it can be a great equalizer,” Brian said. “That’s what Skill Struck is focused on—equity in computer science. I see a huge opportunity here and it’s something I want to be a part of.”
Passion for K–12 education
Brian’s passion for K–12 education began long before his introduction to Skill Struck. His grandparents, who were educators, created a family culture of trailblazing in the pursuit of education. “My grandma did something that was very uncommon for women in her era. She left her community to pursue higher education, then returned to her home state to be a school counselor. She was a legend. The way she increased access to education in her community impacted hundreds of students in profound ways. Following military service in World War II, my grandfather taught 4th and 6th grade for the remainder of his career. Together they influenced hundreds of young lives.”
“Honestly, is there a greater cause than early education?” Brian said, “As we educate students in the skills of the new economy, we can create change that has the potential to ripple through communities and change generations. It is such an exciting time to be involved in ed tech.”
A career focused on improving education for all
Brian’s early career spanned from working at the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington DC, to working for National Geographic as a manager and on the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia.
In 2008, he co-founded College Fast Lane, which aimed to help students prepare for the college experience by improving their efficiency while also saving time and money.
He then spent seven years at Instructure starting in sales in the east and concluding as Regional Vice President in the west. While at Instructure, he participated in hundreds of school district evaluations and implementations across the United States and Canada. He laid foundational work for statewide opportunities of Canvas in Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa, and then led the team for Alaska, New Mexico, and Nevada adoptions. Ultimately working with educators in the smallest rural schools to the largest urban districts in over 35 states.
“People in K–12 education are incredible,” Brian said, referring to what he’s learned while working in the K–12 industry. “People are here for the right reasons and they are some of the most driven individuals in the world. They are dedicated, motivated, patient, and tolerant of the systems they work in. Working with people in the K–12 industry is very fulfilling, despite the significant challenges that we run into.”
Taking the Skill Struck leap
After over 7 years of working at Instructure, Brian received a message from Parker Gentry, founder and CEO of Skill Struck. Initially, Parker hoped to learn from Brian and his vast experience contributing to the K–12 industry, but he soon realized that Brian would be the perfect person to lead the Skill Struck sales and expansion team.
“For over a year I connected with and interviewed over 25 candidates for the Chief Revenue Officer role,” Parker said. “From my first conversation with Brian it was clear that he holds a wealth of knowledge, but equally important is his humble nature and team mindset. He is an extremely genuine individual.”
Brian decided to take the leap and join the Skill Struck team as the Chief Revenue Officer. He was most drawn to Skill Struck’s mission to create opportunities for all students and equip them to have a positive impact on the world.
Creating opportunities for all learners is important to Brian, but he also wants to show his own children that they can do hard things. “Joining Skill Struck isn’t the easier path,” Brian said. “Instructure created a lot of opportunities and stability for me and my family. The people are amazing. Starting new at Skill Struck is a challenge that I wanted my kids to see me take on.”
During the decision making process of whether to join as the Chief Revenue Officer, Brian had the opportunity to meet with each Skill Struck team member individually. “Every person had a passion and excitement about their mission,” Brian said. “There is a good feeling here and I wanted to be a part of that as well.”
Team Skill Struck and beyond
Brian officially joined the Skill Struck team as the Chief Revenue Officer on May 3, 2021.
He has a goal to help people, both students and Skill Struck team members, grow and develop. Brian said. “As a team, we’re going to be focused on who we serve. We’re going to be focused on good values and good culture. I’m excited to help people want to improve.”
The Skill Struck team is thrilled to have Brian Grow be a part of the team as the CRO and looks forward to the impact he and the rest of the team will have on making computer science education more accessible and engaging for all.