Wolf Pack bids farewell to Brown

Ashley Christopher, Staff Reporter

While many principals have fallen to the formidable stereotype of dull offices and ruthless disciplinary actions, West High has been fortunate enough to have been under the leadership of a principal devoted to its staff, students and community. Mr. Troy Brown, who began his time as principal of the Pack in 2013, has seen to the well-being of every member of West High over the years. A role model to everyone, Brown has reminded us that administration plays a role just as important as that of a teacher in making sure students are getting the most out of their high school experience.

Next school year will consist of new administration as Brown moves down the street to the district office. His replacement, current Vice-Principal Zachary Boswell, is expected to bring new elements of education and expand upon the tight knit community that Brown has helped create. It is safe to say that during Brown’s four years as principal, West has transformed in a positive manner; school spirit is sky high and the overall aura on campus is a pleasant one. But how exactly did Brown do it?

Something not widely known about Brown is his history as a teacher. Previously teaching English, AVID and even Drama at Tracy High, he worked hard to develop relationships with his students. Upon transferring into administration at West, Brown promised himself he would find ways to “make kids feel that they are part of the school, feel that they are safe and feel that they want to learn.” Even the students who have not met with Brown in the office are very likely to have encountered him around campus. From friendly morning greetings at the gate to random classroom drop-ins, Brown has made sure that students know the face of their principal. Not only are the students fond of these impromptu visits, but Brown says that these engagements are why he loves what he does. “The ‘Hi Mr. Brown!’s are probably the biggest piece I’ll miss,” he stated.

Brown’s warm personality is widely known throughout the district. From kissing a donkey during FFA week to making cheerful phone calls to West High families, Brown’s good-natured disposition is recognized by students and parents alike. When asked one word to describe Brown, superintendent Dr. Brian Stephens answered “kind.” “I don’t think he has a mean bone in his body!” Stephens joked. “He is somebody that kids can go up and talk to. Being principal is the toughest job in the district, but he makes time for [his students]. I’ve been a school administrator for…27 years, and he is the best principal I’ve ever worked with.”

One unique aspect of Brown’s leadership is the overall student response; whether from the Space & Engineering Academy, theatre, Agriculture, sports or music programs, students share a mutual admiration and respect for their school leader. This in large part is due to his involvement with student affairs. Senior Austyn Murphy commended Brown’s engagement with school life, insisting that he “always makes sure to support the different teams, clubs, groups and cultures.” Not only is it common to see Brown at most home sport games and events, but it’s likely he will recognize you as well. “We aren’t just a sea of faces to him,” said senior Paige Mikels.

Although many are sad to hear of Brown’s departure, they can take comfort in the fact he will be right next door. As Director of Student Services, Brown will attend to the needs of students throughout the entire district. He plans to apply what he’s learned during his time as principal to his new position as well as stay in touch with his Wolf Pack family. “West changed my life,” said Brown, choking up. “It changed who I am.” Because his new position calls for a wider focus on all of the schools that make up the district, students and faculty will miss his special devotion to West. “I don’t know that I’ll work every Friday night football game,” said Brown with a laugh. “I’ll have to go to a Tracy game and a Kimball game, too.” However, he promises to sit with the Wolf Pack for any cross town rival games he attends.

As Brown prepares to leave, he offers some final advice: “Do the right thing. Come to school, do your best in class and avoid the drugs and the fights. Understand your responsibility… [and] help build a community in school.”