A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity

Ron Bennett Masterful Mentor Memorial Fund

This memorial fund is in honor of Ron Bennett, former CEO of School Services of California, Inc., for his life-long commitment to mentoring others, primarily current and past superintendents, chief business officers, fiscal directors, board members and others serving students in California.  Ron believed that student achievement can be improved by good leadership. Although Ron did participate in formal staff development and teaching capacities, his real legacy was his passion for informally teaching and mentoring those around him.

Ron Bennett



About Ron Bennett:

Ron was passionate about helping others achieve their highest potential. He enlisted in the Air Force with the goal of continuing his education and serving his country. He was selected for the highly competitive Airman Education and Commissioning Program, which allowed selected enlisted persons to complete their bachelor’s degree programs.

While in the Air Force, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Oklahoma and his master’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. His service included a tour as the highest-level financial inspector in the Air Force.

When his distinguished career in the Air Force came to a close, Ron used his special skills and talents to serve as Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Superintendent in Long Beach, Fresno, and ABC Unified School Districts. He also had extensive experience in school facility policy and management and served as a Director of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing.

Ron continued his life of service as the Chief Executive Officer for School Services of California, Inc. He was a recognized expert in the areas of collective bargaining, leadership development, school district governance, and financial management. He was involved in shaping the state’s most critical public policy issues and was a key participant in resolving issues within school districts both large and small.

He was also the “go to guy.” He was smart, energetic, and giving of his time and expertise. He motivated others to think at their highest level with the goal of doing what’s best for the students in the state of California.


The scholarships will be awarded to individuals currently employed by a K-14 public school in California who are seeking additional education with the goal of attaining a leadership position with a public school.

Application Process:

Step 1: Fill out the scholarship application online by clicking the button below:

Step 2: Applicants to provide the following items:

  • Completed Ron Bennett Masterful Mentor Scholarship Application
  • Written recommendation from the candidate’s supervisor, which includes examples of the candidate’s professional development and examples of the candidate coaching, guiding, or mentoring fellow employees in an unofficial capacity
  • The recommendation must be signed by the organization’s leader
  • An essay (500 words or less) which describes the candidate’s career goal in greater detail and how the scholarship will assist the candidate in attaining the goal

Application deadline:

Completed application along with recommendation letter and essay must be submitted no later than the application deadline noted on the application form.  

Selection Process:

Scholarship award applications will be submitted anonymously by the authorized Administrator to the Selection Committee. Within 45 days after the submission deadline, all applicants will receive notification of their award status.

Scholarship Distribution:

Funds will be issued to the recipient’s college or program of choice from CharitySmith’s Ron Bennett Masterful Mentor Memorial Fund on behalf of the student. Scholarship recipients are responsible for providing the Administrator with the appropriate information for the college or program to ensure funds are properly credited to the recipient’s account. (In certain situations, as the Selection Committee and Administrator deem appropriate, the payment may be made directly to the recipient; additional documentation may be requested from the recipient to substantiate use of the funds.)


CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:

By Mail:

Ron Bennett Masterful Mentor Memorial Fund

CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation

13100 Filly Lane

Truckee, CA 96161



Use credit card by clicking the link below.

The above memorial fund is established as a division of the CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law.  Receipts for tax purposes are sent via U.S. mail within two weeks of donation.

For question regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.

 Ron has made such a remarkable contribution to school business throughout his career. He was a legend! He will be missed by all.


Ron was a great friend and mentor to me. I am an education leader due in large part to his teaching, mentoring, and career support. I and my colleagues will miss him greatly.

I will cherish Ron’s wit, wisdom, insight, and humor. He was a gift to the education community, and his knowledge and guidance will continue to resonate throughout the state.

Ron lived a life to be proud of and I am honored to have known him. Clearly he led a distinguished life – a life of service. I am grateful to Ron for his service to our country both in the military and in school business.

It meant a lot to me to have Ron as a resource and friend. I always looked forward to talking with Ron because he motivated me to think at my best. I’ll miss Ron’s positive attitude, “relentless” sense of humor, and tireless efforts on behalf of the kids of this state.

Ron would often quote or paraphrase Will Rogers, also one of my favorites (he probably became aware of Rogers during his time in Oklahoma). Rogers said: “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” Ron exemplified this wisdom. I have not known anyone with more passion for his work than Ron.

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