Brock Carothers’ entire career has been focused on education and supporting students. He started as a financial aid counselor at a higher education institution, where he helped find ways for students who were struggling financially to pay for their education. Inspired by friends who were succeeding in sales roles, Brock made the switch and moved into educational sales for a variety of curriculum, EdTech, and student safety products and services. As a Regional Sales Manager at Gaggle, Brock now helps school districts in California keep their students safe in the digital environment.
Start date: October 2018
We asked Brock five questions to get to know a little more about him and his time with Gaggle. Here’s what he had to say:
What are three words to describe Gaggle?
- Effective: Gaggle provides a service that does exactly what it’s supposed to do: protect students. We provide proactive information that gives school districts the ability to save students’ lives.
- Needed: Districts don’t know what they don’t know. We have the ability to dig into student communications and identify students in crisis who would otherwise be missed.
- Passionate: Everybody at Gaggle is passionate about student safety and the mental health challenges that are occurring across the nation. We strive to help keep kids safe.
What drew you to Gaggle?
I had been working for a few different companies prior to Gaggle that centered around student safety. A former coworker (and current Gaggler!) reached out to me about an open sales position for California, and the timing was perfect at that point in my career. After talking with various people at Gaggle and learning more about the company, its offerings, and its mission, I was in—I knew Gaggle would be a great fit for me.
What have you gained from working at Gaggle?
Like most people, I didn’t really know that teen and youth suicide was such an issue. I just didn’t realize how much mental health was impacting today’s students. I had some exposure to it within my own community, but it’s hard to see the bigger picture when you’re not deep in the trenches with these types of issues. Gaggle has given me a greater awareness of just how much students are struggling—it’s been a game changer, both personally and professionally. Within my own family, I now have regular talks with my children about what’s going on with them and their friends. It has opened up a lot more communication that’s been really helpful.
What is your proudest moment at Gaggle?
At a trade show, a superintendent from a district considering Gaggle asked me, “What do you do for a living?” It seemed like an odd question for someone to ask me in that setting, but I answered, “I’m in sales—I represent Gaggle.” He said, “No, not really. You save lives. That’s what you do for a living.” It was really impactful and a truly special moment. He’s now a Gaggle partner, and I consider him a friend.
What is your favorite memory at Gaggle?
Getting to connect with colleagues and Gaggle partners is definitely a highlight for me. One particular night out with our CEO, Jeff Patterson, was really memorable. After spending a whole day on the trade show floor talking to hundreds of people, I was pretty exhausted. I was thinking it was time to call it a day and head to bed when Jeff said, “Work’s just starting now!” The plan was to continue talking to education leaders, with the first stop being what Jeff described as a “dive bar.” I wasn’t dressed for a dive bar, so I went back to my room and changed out of my suit and dressed down into casual clothes. I showed up and nobody else had changed—the dive bar is not what I imagined, but a nice bar with a huge aquarium and a mermaid swimming around! It was a great night of building relationships and continuing the conversation around student safety.
Brock’s passion for student safety motivates him to help new districts in his territory discover how Gaggle can protect their students. “I’m a father of two, and I love to help my children and their friends navigate life,” said Brock. “I hope to bring Gaggle to more districts, including my kids’ schools, so we can protect even more students and help them fulfill their potential.”