Born in Frankfurt, Germany to active-duty parents, James Brown earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee in sport management and business. He then received a master’s degree in elementary education and a doctorate in educational leadership and educational technology from the University of Phoenix.
Brown has taught grades second through fifth, as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). He began his educational career in 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina, then joined DoDEA in 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 2018, he became a school leader when he joined Tarawa Terrace Elementary, also located at Camp Lejeune, as its assistant principal.
Brown is committed to providing students with engaging, relevant learning experiences and opportunities to develop into lifelong learners. He played an important role in initiatives focused on student success, including implementing student-led conferences and monitoring individual student progress. He executed an initiative that used project-based learning to ensure all students participated in learning and the needs of each were met. His leadership empowered Fort Benning Stowers Elementary School robotics team to win several trophies at the regional and super regional level.
In combination with his teaching experience, Brown has demonstrated numerous leadership competences, including promoting continuous improvement of DoDEA schools, supporting schools through the accreditation process and implementing focused collaboration, during which educators use data and input to improve the effectiveness of instruction. He has established effective school environments and ensured educational decisions are relevant, driven by data and purposeful.
Fostering teacher development and growth is important to him, as it promotes success. Brown has led staff development sessions focused on 21st century learning initiatives, emotional well-being and strategies to promote higher order thinking in learners.
Brown and his wife, Anna, have two daughters — Cassidy and Charlotte — and a Bernedoodle puppy, named Charlie. He is a dedicated University of Tennessee fan and enjoys traveling, photography and grilling.
I began my career in education at Parris Island, South Carolina in 1978. I learned a lot during my time in the U.S. Marines, much of which I still utilize in my daily operations as an educator. Upon discharge from the Marines in 1982 I began my studies at the University of Rhode Island and received my bachelors’ degree in December of 1985. After being stationed in Adak, Alaska, and experiencing the Rhode Island winter, I decided to head for a warmer climate. I started my teaching career at Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach, Florida as a science teacher in 1986 where I taught middle school science. As the years rolled on, I decided to obtain my Administration credentials and completed my master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. I moved from Dean of Students to Assistant Principal before retiring from the Florida school system and relocating to North Carolina.
I returned to the classroom as a science teacher at Lejeune High School in 2012. I consider Lejeune High School as my fresh beginning into a fabulous new career. I taught Marine Biology, Biotechnology, Biology, Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Environmental Science and coached basketball, track, and cross country. After four glorious years at LHS I traveled to Iwakuni, Japan and took on the responsibilities of Assistant Principal of M.C. Perry High School. Japan is a wonderful country, I loved exploring and making connections with the local educators.
I continued my administrative career back at Camp Lejeune as Assistant Principal of Brewster Middle School. I found out why the students at Lejeune High School were so well prepared to succeed as students. The staff at Brewster Middle School is amongst the best in the nation and prepare students rigorously not only for high school, but for college, trade school, and to be career ready.
I begin the 2021-2022 school year at Heroes Elementary School full of excitement at this new adventure. What other career can give you guaranteed adventure and challenges each year? That is one of the reasons that I love being an educator. The main reason is the students. Each year I feel that I learn more from the students than I teach them. In addition, I get to affect the future of each student, their careers, and ultimately, the country itself.
I am an avid runner and look forward to continuing to race. The virtual races during the Covid Pandemic kept me in shape but nothing compares to in person “how bad do you want it” foot races. I agree with Chris McDougal that we were “Born to Run” and completed my first Marine Corps Marathon in October 2020. I look forward to expanding my running interests not only by improving my marathon time, but by getting into the Spartan Race Series where distance and obstacles rule!