New BOE member brings ambitious goal, unique background to post

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, March 16, 2023

Ben Dorsey is the father of two children, Bryce and Peyton, a field representative for the engineering firm Geotechnologies and a soccer fanatic.

He is also the newest Clark County Public Schools Board of Education (CCPS) member, representing the Fourth District, and is ready to make a difference for CCPS students during his four-year term.

“I see this as an avenue to make the experience and the perspective of the kids in our community and make this a much better experience for them,” Dorsey said.

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Still, there are some challenges – in Dorsey’s opinion – to making that happen.

“There has always been a pretty big wage gap in certain areas, and there is always going to be certain political views of different people,” Dorsey said. “I try to take that out of it because the school board is not really the place for that, even though it is an elected position.”

Dorsey is best known for his time on the Winchester Youth Soccer League board of directors and currently serves as the organization’s president.

“We’ve made a lot of changes as far as getting the program and the league back to its roots by making sure it is for and focused on the kids,” Dorsey said.

And it has also given him a good perspective for something he wants to tackle during his term.

“I’d like to see the continued rise of inclusivity…It is about creating an environment where kids don’t have to worry and can just go to school and feel comfortable; they can become themselves and don’t have to put on a false face.”

Putting on a false face is something that Dorsey is not accustomed to, as his journey to the school board is anything but typical.

Addiction and redemption

“I’m from Clark County and grew up in Winchester. I spent quite a bit of time in the Clark County Public Schools,” Dorsey said.

However, Dorsey is not a George Rogers Clark alum and graduated from Lexington Catholic High School in 1999. He attended Marshall University on a soccer scholarship for a year and then spent another year on the Huntington, West Virginia, campus.

After leaving Marshall, Dorsey returned to Winchester and, admittedly at college, was not “making the best decisions” at that point in his life.

“I became addicted to going out and partying. I was just trying to have a good time and was doing all the things I didn’t get a chance to do in high school,” he said.

Even as Dorsey got his feet on the ground by connecting with old friends and meeting his future wife, Erica Bishop, he fell into a habit that would become a decade-long struggle.

“During that same period of time, I ended up getting addicted to pills,” Dorsey said. “I had a rough go of it going into 2008-10, and then I got arrested.”

Charged with felony drug possession, Dorsey spent 90 in jail and, at that point, knew it was time to get his life together.

“That was enough for me to make the choice on my own that that was not where I wanted to end up,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey and Bishop made drastic changes to their lifestyle, with Dorsey entering into an addiction counseling program and taking medication to help with his addiction.

Years later, Dorsey became acquainted with long-time school board member Ashley Ritchie, who was instrumental in getting Dorsey to apply for the vacant Fourth District seat.

But because of his past, Dorsey was hesitant to apply.

“I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to shed light on or something that my family would be okay with,” he said.

So Dorsey sought his family’s blessing and received their full support to throw his hat in the ring.

He said he thinks his past will lend some insight the board has previously yet to have.

“Being an addict also helps me out a lot because I can see the dangers posed by idle hands and missed opportunities. That stuff is easier for me to see, and some of the board members have never experienced that stuff,” Dorsey said.