Return to Grafton: Mrs. Amy Brown

Ahyoka Stephens, Staff

This school year has not only opened its doors to new staff members, but welcomed back familiar ones. Returning to the Clipper Nation for the 2018-19 school year is Mrs. Amy Brown. After leaving four years ago, she could not be happier to be teaching here again.

Mrs. Brown left the Clipper community at the end of the 2013-14 school year. She and her husband had anticipated starting a family, so they decided to wait a little longer to have kids. As expected, having children was no easy task, so when her daughter was about 18 months old, Mrs. Brown took a step back from teaching in order to care for her.

During her time off, Mrs. Brown was able to work for her husband’s company from home. Seeing as she also had a son during this time, having this type of flexibility in a job was ideal for her. However, teaching still had a special place in her heart, and she knew she would return to it one day. Mrs. Brown said, “As much as I liked not getting up at 5 a.m., I really missed teaching. I feel blessed to have had such flexibility and freedom these past four years, but working in public education is a calling for me, and I knew I would return to school eventually.”

When Mrs. Brown heard that a part-time teaching position opened at Grafton this year, her interest was sparked. With this job, she could fulfill her love of teaching and still have time for her family. Mrs. Brown was aware that the position opened in mid-August, and knew that Grafton would have trouble finding someone to fill it on such short notice. She felt a strong sense of loyalty toward Grafton and said, “I have a lot of love for GHS, the English department, and the faculty in general. If the job had been anywhere but this school with these people, I would not have considered it.”

This year, Mrs. Brown is teaching English 9 and 10. However, since she is only a part-time teacher, she is not here on B Days. In the past, while teaching here full-time, Mrs. Brown taught various courses, including English 9, English 10, English 12, Advanced English 10, AP Literature and Composition (12th grade), Drama I, Survey of World Drama, and Public Speaking. As well as teaching at Grafton, Mrs. Brown also instructed some online courses through York County’s Virtual High School such as English 12, Survey of World Drama, and English 11.

Besides teaching at Grafton, Mrs. Brown has worked numerous other teaching jobs. Having been a teacher for 20 years, Mrs. Brown has taught English at Denbigh High School, pre-school, and spent six years both long-term and short-term subbing in the Newport News School Division. She also had the opportunity to co-teach an Intro to Theater class for non-majors as a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin. She and three other graduate students co-taught 400 students in a mass-lecture setting, and were responsible for grading and keeping attendance records for 100 students each.

As mentioned before, Mrs. Brown has not only taught English, but Theater as well. She received her B.A. from Christopher Newport University with a double major in English and Fine & Performing Arts, her M.A. in Theater History/Criticism/Theory/Text from the University of Texas at Austin, her Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University, and is currently working on her doctorate.

To Mrs. Brown, there is nothing more rewarding as a teacher than to watch her students grow and accomplish things they never imagined they could. “The most gratifying thing is when I have a student who has been struggling or doubts their own ability achieves success and sort of surprises himself or herself. I love it when they feel that sense of accomplishment and get that boost of self-confidence.”