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Navy Commander opens School of Rock to celebrate freedom of expression

Mark Sheffield uses decades of military experience to help music students achieve dreams.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — After serving our nation for decades, a retired Navy Commander opened a School of Rock. In this Zevely Zone, I took a musical journey to Otay Ranch where South Bay music students have found a safe harbor to follow their music making dreams. 

The School of Rock Otay Ranch is owned by Mark Sheffield who knows all about the exploration of dreams. "This picture is from my first ship," said Mark who served in the Navy for 22 years and learned unforgettable life lessons. "Everything about myself, everything about our country, I learned a lot about the world," said Mark.  

Credit: School of Rock Otay Ranch

As much as Mark loved the military, he loved his family even more so after seven years overseas he dropped anchor in Chula Vista. "You bet, I dropped it here in Chula Vista," said Mark. Where for the past two years students like Joshua Muse have been jamming out. "It's really fun. They teach you a lot of genres of music and a lot of different types," said Joshua.  

Credit: School of Rock Otay Ranch

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Another student is Brixton Harper. "It's awesome," said Brixton before sitting down at a drum set. Students like Evan Light find freedom of expression here, not knowing until now Commander Mark Sheffield spent decades protecting our liberty. "I think that's great, and I think that is even more impressive he did that and built this whole building up from nothing and started a whole community basically," said Evan.

Credit: School of Rock Otay Ranch

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Mark says he can't play an instrument, but if there's one thing he learned in the military. "Personnel development," he said. Which is kind of what he's doing at School of Rock Otay Ranch. "Absolutely, absolutely. I love seeing people come what they want to become," said Mark who traveled the world so that someday he could return to the United States to take a musical voyage like this.

Mark Sheffield was deployed five times and spent a year in Iraq.  If you'd like more information about the School of Rock Otay Ranch click here.

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