We continue our series on the winners of the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education with a profile of Kennedy Middle School Principal Dr. Lucious L. Brown. He has been the principal for Kennedy Middle School for three years. His career with APS began 10 years ago as a math teacher. He has spent the past seven years in an educational leadership role: four years as an assistant principal at West Fulton-Ben Carson Preparatory School, and the last three years at Kennedy.
In 2008, under his tenure, Kennedy has been awarded the Trail Blazer Award and State Superintendent Distinguished Achievement Award for making significant strides in improving student achievement. Dr. Brown has served on the advisory panel for the last two years with State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox. In addition to receiving academic achievement awards, Kennedy also received a grant that would afford the school the opportunity to create the first Teen Court within the state of Georgia that served as an alternative for traditional disposal for student misbehavior. The grant also allowed for the students to participate in the court process and explore careers that are paramount to the justice system.
As a direct result of Dr. Brown’s education research, he has served as a catalyst in cultivating significant changes in the way teaching and learning occurs for the students of Kennedy. Implementation of professional development that is relevant and authentic has proven to be the key element for change. He also spearheaded the development and continual use of professional learning communities that have proven to be effective in transforming school climate and culture, refining instructional practices, thus leading to higher student performance. Dr. Brown has also worked diligently to ensure that all classrooms are standards based and research based practices that assist in creating more diverse learning experiences are utilized in a manner that thoroughly embeds the premise of ongoing planning, assessing, re-teaching, and reflection on the part of the student as well as the teacher.
Through his leadership, vision, and tireless service, Kennedy has helped to positively impact students’ performance in a holistic manner.
Dr. Brown’s Atlanta Families’ Awards project proposal seeks to purchase 138 student subscriptions to the My Access Writing software program. The implementation of this program will assist the students with reaching their writing goals that have been set by the district as well as the state. After researching several writing programs, My Access was the learning tool that stood out among the rest. The demonstration lesson and the high ratings that were given to the program made it more appealing.
“When the kids are writing, the program gives them immediate feedback,” Dr. Brown explained. “If it’s a run-on sentence, it tells the students, but it also asks them probing questions. So instead of hearing ‘Change this,’ it will ask, ‘What if we try this?’ The first year we met our state targets for our eighth-graders, but the next year we didn’t, so we know we needed to put in something that would be sustainable for all of our students to make sure we didn’t have to work THAT hard to make targets by the eighth grade. Best of all, students can access this from home.”
We have 354 students, and we’ve got some on the bubble and need to get them on their grade level, and change the way they talk, and the way they write. Hopefully, this will help.