The Member Spotlight is a new way for CoSN members get to know each other and improve networking. Each month, CoSN will select a member who has volunteered to answer various questions about themselves, personal and professional, and then share their responses with our entire CoSN community.
May Member Spotlight
Brandon Manrow, MBA
Brandon Manrow, MBA is the Coordinator of Business Information Systems at Corpus Christi Independent School District, TX. Corpus Christi ISD is a school district with 57 schools and over 33,000 students. Their year the district was selected to receive CoSN’s Community Leadership Award for Digital Equity this year.
1. How long have you been a member of CoSN? Why did you join CoSN?
“I have been a member of COSN for nearly 3 years now. I was introduced to CoSN by my CTO, Sean Babcock, when he asked me to join the weekly TLE Seal cohort, led by Frankie Jackson. I was active in the TLE cohort over the next 2 years, and then Corpus Christi Independent School District formed an official Security team. This team, led by Thomas Molina, finished the job, as we earned our TLE Seal this last December. I am grateful to have been able to play a part in laying the foundation for Corpus Christi ISD to achieve this prestigious honor.”
2. What is your favorite part of being a member?
“My favorite part of being a CoSN member has been learning from all the incredibly knowledgeable and talented members and staff. CoSN contains an amazing collection of experts who have always been willing help and share their knowledge whenever I have reached out for insight or assistance."
3. What committee do you currently volunteer with?
"I am not currently serving on a committee, but I have recently applied to volunteer on the Student Data Privacy Initiative Educator Advisory Panel. I am hopeful that I will be able to join this panel, as student information security is extremely important to me."
4. What does your daily work entail?
“I am responsible for the uninterrupted operations of our BusinessPlus environment. Along with my brilliant colleague, Patti, we work to ensure smooth operations for our Procurement, Finance, and Human Resources departments. We troubleshoot user issues, manage security, create reports, perform updates/upgrades, and any other business-related issues that come our way. It is also my responsibility to manage our Data Protection Agreement and Data Destruction programs, as well as serve as a member of our Cybersecurity Committee."
5. How did you get into the field of educational technology?
“I have two boys attending school in the CCISD District, so when I saw an opening in their Technology Department that I was qualified for, I immediately applied for it. Overseeing the operations of the Business side of things quickly taught me that, even though I am not a teacher, I do make a difference to the students. By ensuring that the Business computer systems run as seamlessly and smoothly as possible, we are making an impact on our students by supporting every Purchasing, Finance, and Human Resources interaction that goes on behind the scenes, which makes providing a quality education possible.”
6. What’s one thing - either industry-related or not - you learned recently?
“Over the last month, I have learned that AI is not something to be feared, but a technology to be embraced. Student learning can reach higher levels, as AI can provide learning custom-made for a student’s individual needs. AI can also assist in automating administrative tasks, freeing up the teachers to have more time to engage with students.”
7. Who inspires you the most?
“The Lord Jesus. I try to approach the daily events and circumstances that rise up in my life by asking myself, “What would Jesus say or do?” I take these steps in an attempt to stay on the path that I claim to follow.”
8. What is something you are excited to be working on right now?
“Corpus Christi ISD Technology Department is very security conscious. Everything that we do seems to have an information security aspect to it. This year we are working to identify all of the places where our PII is being accessed, and then we are removing it from vendors and reports where it is not necessary, in order to minimize our exposure.
I have two big projects this year that excite me:
- Performing audits of our 275 plus vendors who have signed our Data Protection Agreement and reaching out to those who are accessing or storing PII data. We want to know exactly why they need access to this information and will remove the PII from any vendor that we determine can provide their software or services without it.
- Identifying all the reports that contain PII, who is receiving them, and how having our PII in the reports is necessary. We will then remove the PII from all reports where it is found to be unnecessary for the report to be useful.
9. What is your favorite Book?
“The Holy Bible"
10. What is your Motto or Personal Mantra?
“Show Up (Early), Choose Love, Do the Next Right Thing!”
11. What Hobbies do you enjoy doing outside of work?
"I love doing anything with my wife and my teenage sons, Chris and Nate. We love to go fishing, which is only 15 minutes from home, and we enjoy playing football and basketball. Otherwise, I spend my free time creating oil paintings or NFTs, and I try to earn a little crypto in web3."
Nominate yourself or another member by filling out the questionnaire.
If you missed any of the monthly member spotlights, click below to hear what our past spotlights had to say.