In 1997, Steve Hamerslag, one of our neighbors who had recently moved to Rancho Santa Fe, was exploring the alternatives of public vs. private school for his young children. After careful consideration, he chose to send his children to our school, the R. Roger Rowe Elementary/Middle School, because he: 1) believed in the importance of public school education, 2) appreciated the school’s proximity to his home (as well as the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center and village), and 3) wanted his family to support their local community. Hamerslag had discussions with Superintendent Dr. Rowe inquiring about what could be done by parents to improve the educational experience for children.
Dr. Rowe indicated that they needed private capital to fund the hiring of additional teachers so that they could limit class sizes and provide children with a more intimate and focused learning environment. Hamerslag and nine other dedicated families embraced Dr. Rowe’s vision and each contributed $100,000 (raising $1 million in total) to commence the establishment of a major donor initiative in our community.
Today, our philanthropic leaders are recognized as Scholars’ Circle members. Scholars’ Circle members’ contributions enable our school to be regarded as one of the best public schools in the country.