When students at Randallstown High School (RHS) celebrated the culmination of a another school year with their senior prom and graduation, they added one more celebration to the list— Principal Aubrey P. Brown received the Secondary Principal of the Year Award for the 2017-2018 school year for Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS).
When you enter Principal Brown’s office you are welcomed by a gold colored wall with the word “Excellence” spelled out in 12-inch gold letters, a constant reminder for all who enter to maintain focus.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit,” Brown said about the quote that he lives by.
Brown’s office is strategically decorated with messages of inspiration, motivation and thank-you notes from students.
A hand-written note from one of the students sets high on a bookshelf. An excerpt from the note reads:
“Mr. Brown, You don’t need a High School Principal of the Year Award to recognize how amazing of an individual you are! You care about each and every one of your students and that’s something not all principals (or teachers) can do. Thanks again…”
The Baltimore County Public Schools Principal of the Year Award recognizes outstanding school leaders who create a culture of deliberate excellence for every student. These leaders ensure that all students have equitable access to learning. The selection criteria reflect BCPS’ core values and goals.
According to BCPS, the honoree was identified as one who promotes school culture, supports staff collaboration, and equity for the students and for the administration. Additionally, the honoree ensures that instruction is accessible, research-based and relevant.
Prior to taking on the new role a principal at Randallstown, Brown says when he walked into the building [at RHS] he felt the spirit and it wasn’t alive.
Brown collaborated with the staff to resurrect the culture and began drafting a vision and mission statement with an emphasis on branding and communication. Together they developed a comprehensive communications strategy to increase the rapport among all stakeholders, parents and students.
A school-wide calendar was also instituted to bolster communication.
“I believe that all voices should be heard in all decisions,” said Brown. However, Brown also says that he does have the authority to make decisions without collaboration, if he believes it benefits everyone vested in the school.
Brown says his leadership style is modeled after Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Recently, he has come to take note of the leadership styles of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and Barack Obama.
“I believe all of them encountered conflict and resistance and possibly were led to believe that they could not be successful,” Brown said. “In their own right and in their own time, they proved naysayers wrong.”
Brown is a native of Richmond, Virginia and an alumni of Virginia Union University. He received a master’s degree in educational leadership from George Mason University. Brown has been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha
Fraternity, Inc since 2000.
As an advocate of the implementation of proactive behavior techniques, Brown gained insight from staff and administrators, in addition to reading “Restorative Practices Handbook” written by Bob Costello, Joshua Wachtel and Ted Wachtel.
“[The] students are co-authors of the Randallstown story,” said Brown. “We should celebrate our successes. If we don’t celebrate them, who will?”