If not for a few troubled kids, Dr. LaQuanda Brown would have become a lawyer, but after an internship where she became involved with children who were facing problems in their lives, she decided that her heart was in a different place – her heart was in teaching.
Brown graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and instead of continuing with her law career, immediately began studies at Mercer University where she earned her Master of Middle Grades Education in 2000.
"I never used my criminal justice degree," she said with a smile. "I realized that my heart was in education and that was where I needed to be."
Brown has stepped into the recently vacated spot of principal at Alcovy High School following David Easterday’s retirement. Although it is a position with a lot of responsibility, that’s nothing new to Brown who left her position as principal of King-Danforth Elementary School in Bibb County to come to AHS. She’s also served as an instructional assistant principal at McNair Middle School in DeKalb County.
As a teacher, Brown focused her attention on middle school students as a reading instructor. In fact, when asked, she said she still considers herself a reading instructor. She may not be in the classroom any longer, but her passion for teaching is still evident when she talks about her time educatstudents that are generally considered to be a hard age to reach.
"I’m coming back home," she said of transitioning from elementary to high school. "And I am excited about it – I can’t wait."
When asked if she was concerned about being accepted in the school and community, Brown said that one of her strong suits was building relationships with people and that she was not concerned at all.
"I acknowledge the success of Alcovy under Mr. Easterday’s leadership and I am thankful for it," she said. "My goal for the school is that we become not just one of the best school’s in the state, but one of the best school’s in the nation as well. I have an open door policy and I am hoping to dive in and become part of the community immediately."
Brown hopes to work alongside with the community and to focus on student achievement both academically and athletically.
"I want to make sure that we not only focus strongly on academics but that we also build our athletic department to make sure we are competitive in that area as well and I also want to make sure that we strengthen our pride."
Born and raised in Decatur, Brown lives in Locust Grove. Though unmarried she does have a child – her 6-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Xavier.
She also hopes to have school leaders at each high school throughout the county come together to make not only each school the best they can be individually, but also as a whole county-wide. Brown also hopes to ensure that all cultures are appreciated and respectful of one another.
"I want to make sure that the students also have a very clear mind as to what their goals are so that we can help them achieve those goals, whether that means helping them prepare for college or prepare to enter the workforce, we want to help the become prepared to follow the route they choose."
According to Brown she chose to apply for the position in Newton County because it is a growing community with a growing school system. She also said that she was attracted to School Superintendent Dr. Steven Whatley’s leadership and vision for the Newton County School System.
"I am especially interested in working in a progressive school district that is intentional in its practices to improve culture and climate, to increase student achievement and to improve the overall operations of the school as a whole," she said.
"Alcovy High School is still in the building stage but we have a strong foundation thanks to Mr. Easterday and I want to build on that," she said. "But what is most important to me is that every student at Alcovy feels they belong and that they are a part of something wonderful."