John Byron Brown III is running in the Appoquinimink Board of Education.
How long have you lived in the Appoquinimink School District? I have lived in the Appoquinimink School District for 10 plus years.
Where do you live in the district? I live in the development of Parkside.
Education: Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore; Bachelor of Arts in labor studies from the National Labor College; Legal Assistant Certification from the University of Delaware; Union Leadership Certification from Pennsylvania State University; Mediation Certification from the Center for Community Justice; Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor Training from EEOC; Certificate of Achievement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute.
Career: I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy after serving four years. I am currently employed with the U.S. Postal Service having already served 23 years. My present position is safety specialist for the South Jersey District. I also perform auxiliary functions as the Bio-Hazard System coordinator, the Intergraded Emergency Management planning coordinator, the Ergonomics Risk Reduction Program coordinator, the Medical Emergency Response Team coordinator and the Quality of Working Life coordinator. Also, I have served the membership of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 308 as the branch president and the Delaware State Executive Board member.
Family: I am married with one child; my wife’s name is P. Arshay Brown and my son’s name is Zakee A. Brown. My wife, having the family maiden name of Jefferson, is a native of Middletown. She and her family are deeply rooted within the community having a history that spans more than 100 years. Several children in the Jefferson family attend school here in the Appoquinimink School District. My grandfather-in-law, W. Otis Jefferson, served as a member of the school board for approximately 10 years.
Community involvement/activities: I am a NCC Court-Appointed Children’s Special advocate. I have served as a mediator for the Delaware Court System and as a member of the New Castle County Police Department’s Southern District Advisory Council. I am a graduate of the 14th class of the New Castle County Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy and served as an alternate for the Middletown Public Safety Committee. I served seven years as a committee person for the Local Federal Coordinating Campaign with the United Way of Delaware. In addition, I served three years on the Chesapeake Meadow Maintenance Corporation in various administrative capacities.
How many children do you have enrolled in Appoquinimink School District and what schools do they attend? I do not presently have any children enrolled in the Appoquinimink School District.
Why do you want to be elected to the Appoquinimink Board of Education? I want to be elected to the Appoquinimink Board of Education so that I may contribute towards ensuring that the children of the Appoquinimink School District continue to receive a quality education and to reinforce the Appoquinimink School District’s efforts to keep children’s interests in the forefront of each decision made regarding their education.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in this position? The biggest challenge in this position will be continuing to strive for excellence in education during an economic decline, a reduction of state funding for education and a proposed reduction of approximately 8 percent in the salary of teachers, administrators and staff employees. Given such a situation during this very trying time, striving to maintain a quality education that the children of this district rightfully deserve, is an effort and goal that I will consistently pursue.
What are your thoughts on how to handle the area’s growth when it comes to the schools? My thoughts on how to handle growth, when it comes to the schools, is to focus on student density and overcrowding situations. Constructing schools alone will not resolve the students’ education problems. In my opinion, through a collaborative effort with the planning and zoning department, the board can project the number of students that may come into an area. Nevertheless, a couple of solutions may be found in ways of creating and scheduling smaller or more classes and programs for student edification. Also, alternative education methods and satellite centers for students’ education may be a possible solution as well.
With projected reductions in state funding, how would you limit the effect on quality education for students in the district? I do not think that the reduction in state funding should negatively impact or reduce the quality of education that the children of the Appoquinimink School District now receive. The school board and key stakeholders will have to research the current programs, analyze the programs, produce an analyses report of the programs and then conclude which program(s) should be reduced or eliminated while keeping the thought of a quality education for the children at the forefront of every decision.
What do you want the district to be like in five years when your term is completed? In five years, I see the Appoquinimink School District as a forward moving, progressive organization providing the children of the Appoquinimink School District with a quality education that allows them to compete successfully, on a global scale, at a high educational level. As the world continues to shrink and a global economy becomes more prevalent, our children will need to be able to compete, as well as communicate, successfully within the global community.