On Wednesday, March 14, Dr. Phillip Brown was one of five recipients in North Carolina to earn the Marvin R. Pittman Champion for Education Award. This award was presented during the annual Connecting Communities of Education Stakeholders Conference held in Greensboro. This award celebrates innovation across North Carolina and individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to student success, who exemplify leadership in education, and who make a significant impact on students.
In attendance to present the awards were Jason Griffin, 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year, and Lisa Godwin, 2017 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
Since accepting his position as Executive Director of Teaching and Learning in December 2016, Dr. Brown has encouraged students to reach their full potential, been a team player, supported the local community, and strived to communicate the work happening in the district effectively. Dr. Brown has spent a great deal of time in schools visiting classrooms and speaking with students, staff, and parents. The feedback loops he has put in place, such as the environmental scan and post-meeting surveys, for the Teaching and Learning Department, have set high expectations and allowed improvements to take place in a variety of areas. Virtual academy coursework has been implemented at Mount Airy Middle School and streaming equipment across the district has allowed advanced learners to attend courses at other schools in the district. Dr. Brown has been a great addition to the administrative team as he has attended several events across the district supporting internal and external stakeholders. He has led the development of Mount Airy City Schools Social and Emotional Learning Taskforce, coached staff members, driven students to field trips, and connected the local workforce to initiatives within the school system. In doing all of these things, Dr. Brown has communicated effectively with stakeholders through newsletters, focus groups, and one-on-one meetings.
Penny Willard, Director of Grants, stated, “As a leader, Dr. Brown is a prime example of “walking the walk” and doing what it takes to support our students and teachers. He supports our team and fosters a culture of lifelong learning, which ensures our commitment to continuous improvement. Ultimately, the better service we provide teachers will also ensure that our kids receive an educational experience that helps them achieve their goals as college and career ready individuals.”
When discussing the award, Dr. Phillip Brown noted, “I am very honored to be recognized by my peers for this award. Marvin R. Pittman was well known and respected as a leader in our state for his work with closing achievement gaps and ensuring a sound education for ALL students. Even though he is gone now, his work continues forever. This award is not for me. It is a reflection of the great work that our district does on a daily basis. Holding true to our motto for the year, ‘every child, every day,’ we proudly accept the challenge before us.”