Destry Brown: New USD 234 Superintendent

Destry Brown. Submitted photo.

Destry Brown, 59, is the new superintendent of schools for USD 234, Fort Scott.

He believes he is coming full circle in his life in returning to USD 234 after 38 years in education.

“The funny thing to me is that I began school as a kindergartner in Fulton, KS which was part of USD # 234,” Brown said.  “Now, I am back in the USD # 234 School District. I guess one could say that I have come full circle.”

“I graduated from Fort Scott High School, attended Fort Scott Community College for two years and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University,” he said. “I also received a Master’s Degree in Building Administration along with additional coursework to complete the licensure requirements to be a superintendent.”

He began his teaching career teaching elementary school in Mound City, where he taught grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, and taught there for 11 years.

Brown was then the elementary principal for two years in Wilson, KS.

“From there, I was the principal at Alcott Elementary School in Chanute, for five years before moving to the assistant superintendent position for four years. My first superintendent position was in Frontenac,  where I remained for three years. Then, for the next nine years, I was the superintendent in Pittsburg. I then moved to Clinton, MO where I have been for the last four years.”

Brown begins officially in Fort Scott on July 1st.

“I will probably be in and out of the district throughout the month of June as I work toward a smooth transition,” he said.

USD 234 Board of Education Building, 424 S. Main

Background

“I grew up on a farm between Fort Scott and Fulton,” he said. “We moved to Fort Scott when I was in middle school.”

His wife, Joan, works for Community National Bank and they have three boys between the two of them.

“We also have six wonderful grandkids!,” he said.

Brown has many ties to Bourbon County.

“My parents are Donnie and Georgia Brown.” he said. “Dad farms in northern Bourbon County and Mom owns and operates Sunshine Boutique in downtown Fort Scott. My sister, Ginger Nance, is the Director at Presbyterian Village.”

In his spare time he attends events in the school district and community, he said.

“In Clinton, I am involved in the Optimist Club and serve as the Treasurer,” he said. “I am also a Rotary and Elks Club member. I serve on the Henry County Health Board. I am involved with Olde Glory Days, a week long 4th of July celebration, Main Street Clinton, and the Emergency Planning Commission. I serve as a Big Brother in Big Brothers and Big Sisters and I mentor a student through the Juvenile Justice program. I coordinated and help with community food distributions. Joan and I attend the Clinton Methodist Church. As you can see, we spend most of our spare time serving our community and especially the children/families in our community.”

” I also love to cook and I am an avid student of leadership,” Brown said.

Brown has been inspired by many.

“As a young teenager, our neighbor, Tom Davis was the Recreation Director in Fort Scott,” he said. “He asked me to coach a tee ball team one year and I found that I really enjoyed working with kids. I volunteered on the playground at Winfield Scott Elementary during my lunch hour in high school. I also had some amazing teachers who had a tremendous influence on my desire to be a teacher including: Welcome Van Sickle, Margaret Titus, Elaine Wimberly, Maxine Kinney, Alice Miller, Tom Davis, Bill Sailors, Lily Kober, Gary Wimmer, Warren Jones, Steve Wolf, Gary Key, Lucille James, Marcel Norman. I am sorry for this long list. But, these people along with many others like Dick Hedges and George Hudiberg encouraged and inspired me along the way. All of these people had a way of teaching and leading that broke average. They always pushed me to work hard and to love and serve people. They displayed a joy for teaching and leading and drew me into the field of education.”

The greatest challenge he faces coming to Fort Scott is to learn about the Fort Scott system and the people who work here,  and making up for lost time during the COVID 19 Pandemic, he said.

“Now that we are past the pandemic, the challenge will be to help our students to recover the loss of learning that has occurred,” Brown said. “More importantly, we will need to figure out ways to address the social and emotional issues that have presented themselves during the pandemic. Although we learned a lot about different ways to educate our kids and different ways to do business during this time, our challenge will be to blend the old with the new in ways that best meet the needs of every student.”

“I am so excited to be able to return to my hometown,” Brown said. “The things that people will be able to count on from me are: 1) I am about doing our very best for kids. 2) I will encourage and support our staff. 3) My door is always open to people to stop by with concerns, encouragement, or just to talk. 4) I will be honest and transparent about the workings of the district. 5) I will always support and positively represent the Red and the White. Go Tigers!!!!”

2 thoughts on “Destry Brown: New USD 234 Superintendent”

  1. Loved working under President Dick Hedges at FSCC. I feel Mr. Brown has a similar leadership style and I am looking forward to working with him at USD234.

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