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New John Hopkins AP wins over crowd



If first impressions mean anything, Barry Brown, the new assistant principal at discipline-challenged John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg, is going to be a hit. Not long after he was introduced at last night's SAC meeting by Superintendent Julie Janssen - who worked with Brown at St. Petersburg High - the new guy was pointedly asked (by former Hopkins SAC chair Sami Scott) what academic credentials qualified him for dealing with the behavioral issues of middle school kids.

Brown began by saying he had an undergraduate degree in sociology, then quickly pivoted: "I have first-hand experience by being a troubled youth. So I believe that alone will allow me to connect," he told about 50 parents and teachers in attendance. "Grew up in Childs Park. Come from a broken family. An abusive father. Dealt with the struggles of poverty, violence, drugs. I was able to connect with a man you might know, Dan Wright, that became a father figure. So I understand what it takes to take experiences, share experiences, build on character, hold kids accountable."

Brown went on to note a master's degree and list past jobs, including gigs at Harbinger House, a shelter for troubled kids, and Operation Par, which helps families deal with substance abuse and mental health issues. He wrapped it up with this: "So I think I'm going to brag a little bit. I don't know if there's anyone more qualified to deal with knuckleheads."

The crowd began to laugh and clap before he finished the sentence.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:53am]


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