Faulkner calls him ‘the district’s greatest cheerleader’
Earl Brown, a teacher and administrator in the Brentwood School District for 35 years until retiring in 1990, died today of undisclosed causes. The district’s Superintendent David Faulkner announced the sad news today in an email to all staff. Following is what Faulkner wrote, with subheadings added by the Brentwood Spirit:
It is with great sadness that I share news of the passing of Mr. Earl Brown today [Nov. 6]. Although many of our current staff might only have met Mr. Brown in the new employee orientation, Mr. Brown’s contributions to the schools and community helped establish the great reputation our district has enjoyed for years.
In 2010, Mr. Brown was nominated by the district for the Pioneer in Education Award. The following was adapted from that nominating application.
Pearl Harbor, Mizzou, Brentwood
Earl Brown was born in rural Missouri in 1926. After graduating from high school, He joined the military, serving during World War II. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor just after the base was attacked in 1941. After completing his military service, he entered the University of Missouri, where he completed his bachelor of science in education in 1953. His content specialty was history. He joined the Brentwood School District in 1954 and was perhaps the district’s greatest cheerleader.
Principal at Mark Twain, McGrath
Mr. Brown served for 35 years in various roles in the Brentwood School District before retiring to work exclusively as a citizen. After serving 12 years as a teacher of geography, American history and drivers’ education at BHS, he went on to serve as principal at Mark Twain Elementary for 10 years and principal of McGrath Elementary for three years.
Assistant to superintendent
Mr. Brown became the district’s first Assistant to the Superintendent in 1980, a role he held until retiring in 1990. In that role he facilitated the district’s entry into the Voluntary Transfer Desegregation program, which he pointed to as one of his most important and rewarding contributions as an educator. He remained passionate about social justice throughout his life and considered public education to be the most important and effective means of ensuring that democracy and equity are guaranteed to American citizens.
Staying involved after retirement
After he retired in 1990, Mr. Brown remained dedicated to the Brentwood schools and community. He was ever-present at school events, and his participation in the new teacher bus tour ensured that new employees learned much about the history and values of the district.
As a member of the Brentwood Noon Optimists, he and his colleagues raised money to recognize and support graduates each year. Serving as an unofficial historian of the district, Mr. Brown maintained formal and informal records of milestones in the educational community.
A longtime Brentwood resident, he kept in contact with generations of Brentwood alumni, and at every opportunity, he sold the qualities of the district to any audience he could. He actively campaigned for every school district tax proposition, including Prop E in 2006 and Prop K in 2013. He continued to be active in church and community activities until a series of health setbacks limited his activities.
Survived by wife Joyce
He is survived by his wife, Joyce, whom he met as a teacher in Brentwood; his sons, Jeff and Steve; and his daughter-in-law and granddaughters, whom he adored.
Earl Brown celebrated everything that the Brentwood schools and community stand for. His life is an outstanding example of citizenship and service, and we are better because he chose Brentwood as his place of service.