December 3, 2020

Beloved HHS educator retires after touching lives for 34 years

Pictured above during Friday night's halftime ceremony (L-R): Heard High Principal Rodney Kay, Heard County Superintendent Jerry Prince, Mr. Ed Brown, Lucy Pearl, Eli, and Sallie

Pictured above during Friday night’s halftime ceremony (L-R): Heard High Principal Rodney Kay, Heard County Superintendent Jerry Prince, Mr. Ed Brown, Lucy Pearl, Eli, and Sallie

(Franklin, GA) — From beakers to microscopes to Smart Boards, when it comes to science in the classroom, Mr. Ed Brown has been there for it all.

The longtime Heard County educator and chair of the science department announced his retirement last week after teaching at the high school for more than three decades.

Mr. Brown touched countless lives during that time period, not only as a teacher, but a proponent and beacon for local education in general.

Mr. Brown graduated from Warner Robins High School before earning a chemistry degree from Lagrange College, the same place where he met his wife Nancy.

The positive effects Mr. Brown will leave at HHS are immeasurable. He was almost single-handedly responsible for starting the Stephen Heard Chapter of the National Honor Society,  an active Heard County Association of Educators, and the annual awards night ceremony.

Of course, Brown’s inspiring influence was felt most in the Heard High Science Department which he solely created from the ground up upon his arrival in the early 1980’s.

“Early on, Mr. Brown aspired to go into Pharmacy School,” says current Heard High Principal Rodney Kay. “All of us in Heard County are blessed that he didn’t pursue that dream, and instead he ended up at Heard County High School where he started the Science Department from scratch. He literally began with a box of broken glassware and a dream. That dream was to inspire children, a dream to have children dream big dreams, and a dream to make a difference.”

Mr. Brown has one daughter, Sallie, and two grandchildren, Eli and Lucy Pearl. He is known as a tough bur fair teacher, and his own daughter, Sallie, admits she struggled to pass her dad’s class when she was in high school.

Heard County Superintendent Jerry Prince recollects with fondness his many years working alongside Mr. Brown.  

“For 29 years Ed and I were colleagues and friends, even though my role changed several times over the years, our relationship never changed, we remained colleagues and friends,” says Prince.

“Ed Brown is an excellent teacher, maybe the best I have ever seen. He always pushes his students to the highest level possible. He is meticulous in his planning, paying attention to every little detail.”

Mr. Ed Brown

Mr. Ed Brown

Prince also notes that Mr. Brown has rarely had any discipline problems due to his strong mutual respect for his students.

“His lessons are very hands on, and most students really enjoy being in his class,” Prince states. “He loves kids and he treats them with respect. He has virtually no discipline problems, I can’t ever remember dealing with a student from his class in the 10 years I was the assistant principal at HCHS.”

Heard High School honored Mr. Brown during halftime of last Friday’s big state playoff football game, where he received a huge ovation from those in attendance. Many of his former colleagues attended the game including Stephen Daugherty and Kenneth Redding.

It was only fitting that many of his former colleagues were present as he was a person who fought for the profession throughout his career.

“Ed Brown was always an advocate for the profession of teaching. No one person in Heard County has done more over the years to stand up for teachers,” said Prince.

“He has been president of HAE for I can’t tell you how long and he was probably one of the most active members of GAE in the state of Georgia. Some of the benefits teachers get today working in Heard County are because Ed Brown took the time to go to the Board of Education and ask for them. He was rejected probably more times than not, but he kept coming. Now Ed is retiring and no one deserves it more than him.”

When Mr. Brown’s sudden retirement due to family illness was announced via social media last week, former students and colleagues from all walks of life flocked to their computers to shower Mr. Brown with praise.

Mr. Brown with former colleagues and students (L-R): Mr. Ed Brown, Ginger Cornelius, Jerry Prince, Steven Daugherty, and Pastor Neil Awbrey

Mr. Brown with former colleagues and students (L-R): Mr. Ed Brown, Ginger Cornelius, Jerry Prince, Steven Daugherty, and Pastor Neil Awbrey

“Mr. Brown was always one of the teachers that could instill confidence into a kid that had none at all,” said Nicholas Klein on facebook. “He is high on the list of teachers that made me feel like I could do more than I thought.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Brown for the last 20 years and he taught both of my children,” said Tracey Bunn. “He always took the time to make sure they got it. He is a very kind and patient person.”

Many people commented about the life-long impact of Mr. Brown’s puns and sayings — something he was known for.

“I loved chemistry and biology with Mr. Brown,” said Keith Cornelius. “My favorite quote was, ‘To err is human, to moo is bovine.’ What he taught my wife Ginger and me carried us through college.”

“I live by a quote that he left in my junior yearbook, ‘Strive for simplicity.’ It never fails me and has guided me through many a challenge. Thanks Ed Brown, always a standout favorite and part of the team that led me to teaching,” said Angie Readd-McSpadden.

Comments

  1. Former student says

    Heard High is losing a brilliant mind. We are blessed to have had him for as long as we did. Mr. Brown, I wish you the best on your new adventure.

  2. Kathy Creech Morgan says

    Best CHEM teacher ever! I learned so much from him. I always did well on his tests and found that the classical music playing in the background was a huge help. I wish him all the best!!!

  3. Robert Smith says

    I hate to hear this, but I’m happy for him. Mr. Brown was an amazing teacher.

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