Pictured L to R: Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Superintendent James Carter, Renatta Brown, Magnolia Brown Dr. Robert Brown, Jerry Brown, Board members Dr. Carol Zippert, Carrie Dancy and Leo Branch.Brown family: Jerry, Renatta, Dr. Robert Brown, Mrs. Magnolia Brown, Superintendent Dr. James Carter presents photo of Dr. Brown which will be placed in Robert Brown Middle School
The dedication of the Robert Brown Middle School in Eutaw, AL was held Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 in honor of the first African American Superintendent of the Greene County School System. The ceremony consisted of unveiling the marque on the school grounds facing Mesopotamia Street with the signage Robert Brown Middle School. The new name was also placed on the front of the building. A framed photo of Dr. Brown was presented for the entrance foyer of the facility.
The program included greetings and remarks from the Superintendent Dr. James H. Carter and School Board President Mr. Leo Branch. Dr. Carol P. Zippert, Board Vice President, shared a bio of the accomplishments and contributions of Dr. Brown. Welcome and remarks were given by Mrs. Barbara Martin and Mr. Frederick Square, Principals at the Robert Brown Middle School.
A reception followed the formal program where family and friends shared congratulatory remarks regarding Dr. Brown, who was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Magnolia Brown, daughter Renatta and son Jerry. In his comments, Dr. Brown acknowledged the full support of his wife and children in all his endeavors. Mrs. Magnolia Brown was a Home Economics Teacher in the Greene County School System for over 40 years.Dr. Robert Brown, a native of Greene County from the Mantua community, served as Greene County School Superintendent from 1970 -1980. His appointment by the local school board came about following the special election of 1969, ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court when Black candidates were left off the ballot in Greene County Alabama for the 1968 elections. The special election of 1969 allowed the 80% Black majority population to elect Black candidates to the school board, county commission, sheriff’s office, tax collector, circuit clerk, and more. Dr. Brown was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement in Greene County.
During his early years as superintendent, Dr. Brown secured resources to construct a new Eutaw High School, the facility now named for him. Eutaw High School was later re-named Greene County High School, following the consolidation of the two county high schools. As superintendent, Brown also facilitated the construction of the Peter J. Kirksey Vocational School, named for the first African American school board member in Greene County.
Other accomplishments of Dr. Brown as superintendent included establishing JROTC Program; brought HeadStart Program to Greene County; established adult education program for Greene County citizens; established University Without Walls allowing teachers to earn advanced degrees; implemented first free breakfast program for school system and first free summer feeding program; instrumental in bringing Miles College-Eutaw Program to Greene County.
Dr. Brown’s prior positions in the school system included Principal of Greene County Training School which he later re-named Paramount High School; Principal of Jameswood Junior High School; Chemistry and Physics Teacher at GCTS; Teacher Corps Director and Instructor at Livingston University, now University of West Alabama.
In 2016, the Greene County golf course was officially named Dr. Robert Brown Double Eagle Golf Course. In 2013, Dr. Brown was inducted in the Black Belt Hall of Fame at the University of West Alabama. In 2015, he was recognized by the Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at Alabama A&M University and the Rocket City Ques of Huntsville as a Living Legend.
Dr. Brown is a World War II Veteran who served under General George Patton. For his outstanding service, Brown received four Bronze Stars, the Combat Medal and an Honorable Discharge.
At its May, 2016 meeting, the Greene County Board of Education approved the consolidation of Paramount Jr. High School and Carver Middle School. This became effective with the current 2016-2017 school year. Subsequently, at its July 2016 meeting, the board voted unanimously to name the new consolidated middle school Robert Brown Middle School.